May 16, 2021

Vatican orders an investigation in Chile in the case of nuns abused by priests

Vatican orders an investigation in Chile in the case of nuns abused by priests

The Apostolic Nunciature in Chile reported today that the Holy See began an investigation in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan for the abuses denounced by ex-monks in which priests appear to be involved in their service to those affected.

According to a statement from the diplomatic representation of the Holy See in Chile, released on Thursday, the investigation will be carried out by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life.

"For this purpose, the aforementioned Roman Dicastery has named the Rev. Sister Rosario Alonso (Daughter of Mary Help of Christians) apostolic visitor, who will be supported in this task, as a Partner, by the Reverend Maurizio Bridio, of the Franciscan Order of Minor Conventuals ", the note said.

During the apostolic visit, the sisters who belong to or who have been part of the same Institute will be listened to in the Chilean city of Talca, in the south of Chile, as well as the people particularly related to him.

The purpose of this initiative is to collect the necessary information for a thorough knowledge of the Institution and to transmit it to the Holy See, in view of the decisions that are considered appropriate to take.

On July 25, a group of nuns who left the Catholic Church reported being "for years" sexually abused by priests and ignored by the ecclesiastical authorities in the congregation "Sisters of the Good Samaritan" in the Chilean region of Maule.

In declarations to the journalistic investigation program "Informe Especial" of the Chilean television (TVN), the religious affirmed that they were also victims of labor abuses in the convent located in the municipality of Molina, 210 kilometers south of Santiago.

They added that after reporting the abuses to their superiors, they were punished and expelled from the congregation without any compensation.

Yolanda Tondreaux, one of them, said that she suffered abuses as soon as she put on her habits: "A priest approached me, touched my chest and kissed me on the face, reaching my lips".

"I felt disgusted," he added and said he went immediately to the mother superior, Patricia Ibarra, and reported what happened, but she, far from helping, he tried to "lie" and ordered him to confess with the same priest denounced.

"The young girls left the convent for the same reason, because there were priests who handled them," Tondreaux said in the report from the Chilean newspaper.

She claimed to have seen during her life as a nun deliver checks of up to 20 million pesos (about $ 30,700) to priests who faced allegations of abuse.

Instead, she was part of a group of 23 nuns who were expelled from the congregation without any economic compensation for reporting abuses, she said.

According to the Apostolic Nunciature in Chile, the investigations in the case of the abused nuns will last for at least two months.

According to a cadastre published by the Chilean National Prosecutor's Office at the end of August, there are currently 119 investigations in progress against 167 persons related to the Church and 178 victims quantified, 79 of whom were minors when the events occurred.


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