Thirty-four Chilean bishops resign as Pope Francis cracks down on abuse by clergy
By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
5/18/2018 (1 month ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
Thirty-four Chilean bishops have offered their resignation to Pope Francis over the sex abuse scandal in that country. The resignations could be the first in a massive cleanup of the Church's hierarchy.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Thirty-four Chilean bishops have offered their resignation to Pope Francis following a meeting on Thursday. The bishops were summoned to the Vatican over that country's sex abuse scandal.
Auxillary Bishop of Santiago, Fernando Ramos said, "We feel pain and shame."
The Catholic Church in Chile has been rocked by a massive sex abuse scandal in which bishops were involved with covering up abuse.
Prior to the meeting, Pope Francis gave each bishop a list of themes upon which to meditate. The product of those meditations, the intercession of the Holy Spirit, and of Pope Francis' meeting, appears the mass resignation of those involved.
Victims of clerical sexual abuse in Chile report being shamed and even demonized by Church leaders. At least three male victims who were abused as teenagers reported they had been "treated as enemies" by the Church in the decade since.
Some of the guilty have escaped justice due to statutes of limitation under Chilean law.
Pope Francis prepared the bishops by speaking in his homilies about bishops stepping down when the time came to take their leave. While it was widely speculated that Pope Francis was hinting at his own possible resignation,
For a long time, perhaps for centuries, the people of the Church have been preyed upon by a small, but persistent number of corrupt clergy. To protect their credibility as a moral authority, the Church has cultivated a culture of silence to prevent embarrassment. Ironically, this effort has cost the Church its credibility.
Only now, as a result of massive public pressure, has the Church finally be able to come to terms with abusers in its ranks. And for most victims, no effort to date has sufficed.
What is needed is nothing less than a full, global reckoning of the Church in every nation. A tribunal may have to be established within the Vatican devoted solely to prosecuting claims of clerical sexual abuse. And what happens within that tribunal must be shared with the media and civil authorities. Only by taking this drastic step will the Church correct the wrongs of previous generations.
The product of such a move would likely be positive. While great embarrassment and shame, even ridicule could develop at first, the long-term effect of restoring public trust and confidence in the Church would be incredible.
The development at the Vatican regarding the Chilean scandal is wonderful, but it is only a start.
We pray for justice. We pray for the victims, may they find peace. We pray for the Church, may she forever guide us to salvation, untainted by scandal. We pray for Pope Francis, may his sanctifying work continue. We pray for the guilty, may they find the strength to admit their guilt, accept justice, and seek the forgiveness of their victims and God. Amen.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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