Pope Fran­cis de­frocks 2 more Chilean pri­ests

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

VAT­I­CAN CITY — Pope Fran­cis on Satur­day de­frocked two more Chilean prelates ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing mi­nors and, in what seemed a bid to show greater trans­parency about how he’s re­spond­ing to the church’s global sex abuse cri­sis, the pon­tiff pub­licly ex­plained why they were re­moved.

The Vat­i­can’s un­usu­ally de­tailed state­ment an­nounc­ing the lai­ciza­tion of Jose Cox Huneeus and Marco An­to­nio Or­denes Fer­nan­dez fol­lowed past mis­steps that ap­peared to un­der­es­ti­mate the grav­ity of the scan­dal.

Ex­plain­ing the lat­est re­movals as Chile’s church is called to ac­count for decades of sex­ual abuse and cover-ups, the state­ment made clear the two were de­frocked for abus­ing mi­nors with ev­i­dence so over­whelm­ing that a canon­i­cal trial was un­nec­es­sary.

The Vat­i­can said the move could not be ap­pealed.

Pre­vi­ously, the Vat­i­can has rarely, if ever, an­nounced lai­ciza­tions of in­di­vid­ual pri­ests and only is­sued a sin­gle-line state­ment if a bishop had re­signed, with­out fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion.

Ad­vo­cates for abuse sur­vivors have long com­plained about the Vat­i­can’s se­crecy in han­dling such abuse cases, and the lack of trans­parency when ar­rived at judg­ments.

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

The is­sue of church sex abuse came up in a pa­pal au­di­ence ear­lier Satur­day with Chilean Pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Pin­era Echenique, who also met with the Vat­i­can sec­re­tary of state, Car­di­nal Pi­etro Parolin.

Fran­cis has re­cently re­moved two other Chilean prelates and de­nied them a chance to ap­peal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.