Chilean Bishops Offer Mass Resignation After Pope Meeting

Chile (photo: Pixabay)
By Mei ManuelMay 21st, 2018

On Friday, the delegation consisting of 34 Chilean bishops requested to fly to the Vatican to discuss the lingering crisis regarding the cover-up sexual abuse committed by a former Chilean priest had announced that they had offered to mass resign from their post.

In the joint statement read by Bishop Fernando Ramos, the statement said "We have put our positions in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely for each of us."

He said that the bishops will remain in their positions until the pope has made his decision.

They also added that they have thanked the pope for his 'brotherly correction.'

It also said, 'Above all, we want to ask forgiveness for the pain caused to the victims, to the pope, to the people of God and our country for the serious errors and omissions committed by us.'

The scandal that involved a former priest has devastated the Chilean Catholic Church's dignity since it was first revealed. It also questioned the credibility of the Pope, who originally defended the bishop who was accused of covering up the crime before reversing his position after a new investigation proved the truth about the issue.

The former priest in question, Fernando Karadima, had been removed from the church in 2011 after the Vatican investigated the claims raised by victims against the priest. However, he was not punished under Chilean law because of the statute of limitation on sexual cases. Karadima is now 87 and staying in a nursing home. He has always denied the allegations against him. One of his students, Bishop Juan Barros, was accused to have hidden his mentor's crimes, but he had also said he did not know such issues.

Currently, the pope has not commented upon the mass resignation or if there is an indication he will be accepting them. The Vatican had also declined to comment on the timing of any decision and one official even said this is the first time the bishops of an entire country offered to resign in such a way.

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