Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Home World Pope Francis abducts two Chilean bishops for sexual abuse

Pope Francis abducts two Chilean bishops for sexual abuse

Pope Francis has released two other Chilean bishops accused of sexually abusing minors, and to show greater transparency about how he responds to the global sex abuse crisis in the Church, he publicly explained why they were removed.

The Vatican's unusually detailed explanation of the retaliation of former Archbishop Francisco Jose Cox Huneeus and retired bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez signaled a new level of transparency after Francis had committed missteps in the past.

The statement states that the two have been declared unnecessary for abusing minors with such overwhelming evidence that a canonical process is unnecessary.

Vatican ChilePope Francis posing with Chile's President Sebastian Pinera and his wife Cecilia Morel (Alessandro Bianchi / AP)

The Vatican said the decision could not be challenged.

Cox, 87, suffering from dementia, is a member of the Schoenstatt Order and had served as a bishop in Chillan in Chile before joining the Vatican Pontifical Council for the Family, a senior position during Saint John Paul II II. Papacy.

He returned to Chile and became a bishop in La Serena, until he left in 1997 under unexplained circumstances, but took over administrative duties in Rome and at the Latin American Episcopal Conference in Colombia.

In 2002, the Vatican Office for Bishops asked the Schoenstatt Fathers to take him to one of his houses for alleged allegations.

He has been living in Germany since then, but last year the Vatican received a new, formal charge of alleged abuse that occurred in Germany in 2004.

The Schoenstatt Fathers said Saturday that the Vatican had asked Cox to remain in their care.

The Order said he would cooperate with the justice system as the victims in Chile filed criminal charges against him.

"We receive this message with great shame for the damage done to the victims," ​​the community said.

"We show solidarity with them and their deep suffering.

"Today, more than ever, we regret any form of abuse that violates human dignity."

Given Cox's favor in John Paul's inner circle, his case is another mark on John Paul's legacy.

It also calls into question the high-level Schoenstatt Cardinal in Chile, Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, an adviser to Francis, who has long been accused of covering up for perpetrators.

Ordenes Fernandez, 53, was appointed bishop of Iquique in northern Chile in 2006 at the age of 42.

He retired six years later, allegedly for health reasons.

Vatican Pope SynodPope Francis holds a wallet (Alessandra Tarantino / AP)

Later, however, he was accused of abuse allegations.

Previously, the Vatican has rarely, if ever, announced secularization by individual priests and made only one statement when a bishop resigned without further explanation.

Before the papacy began in 2013, it was the Vatican's practice to disclose whether retirement would be retired on grounds of age or any other "serious" cause that rendered them incapable of office.

But Francis removed this minimal amount of information early on.

Advocates of abuse survivors have long complained about the Vatican's secrecy in handling such abuse cases and the lack of transparency in judgments.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the more detailed statement from Saturday indicated a new trend in the way the Vatican will announce the results of investigations by bishops accused of abuse.

A similar detailed statement was issued when Francis dethroned Chile's most notorious abuser Fernando Karadima a few weeks ago.

Francis has been under attack for years for his handling of abuse cases.

In May, all active bishops in Chile offered to resign because of their collective mistreatment of the abuse scandal. So far, Francis has accepted the resignations of seven.

Francis discussed this topic during his Vatican audience on Saturday with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Echenique, who also met with the Secretary of State of the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The Vatican said both meetings discussed "the painful scourge of abusing minors and reiterating the efforts of all in cooperation to combat and prevent the perpetration of such crimes and their concealment".


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