CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 December 2018

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Pope accepts resignations of three Chilean bishops

VATICAN (CNS): After an in-depth Vatican-led investigation into clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 61-year-old Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, along with those of Archbishop Cristian Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt, and Bishop Gonzalo Duarte Garcia de Cortazar of Valparaiso, both at the customary retirement age of 75.
 
The announcement came as the pope sent the Vatican team of Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, and Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos, back to Chile “with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims,” the Vatican said in a statement on May 31.
 
Archbishop Scicluna, who is president of a board of review handling abuse cases within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Father Bertomeu, an official of the doctrinal congregation, were scheduled to be in Santiago from June 12 to 13 before visiting Osorno from June 14 to 17.
 
Pope Francis also named apostolic administrators to run each diocese in the meantime: Mercedarian Father Ricardo Basilio Morales Galindo, Chilean provincial, for the Archdiocese of Puerto Montt; Auxiliary Bishop Pedro Ossandon Buljevic of Santiago for the Diocese of Valparaiso; and Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Concha Cayuqueo of Santiago for the Diocese of Osorno.
 
The resignation of Bishop Barros comes after years of accusations and questions concerning his knowledge of abuse by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, and protests when Pope Francis appointed the then-head of the military ordinariate to head the Diocese of Osorno in 2015 (Sunday Examiner, February 11, 18; March 4; April 22; May 6; June 3).

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