After several days of private meetings with Chilean bishops, Pope Francis called on them to build a “prophetic Church” that places care for the suffering, especially survivors of sexual abuse, at its centre.
In a letter given to the bishops and released by the Vatican on 17th May, the pope thanked the bishops for accepting his invitation to discuss “the serious acts that have damaged ecclesial communion and weakened the work of the Church in Chile in recent years.”
“In light of these painful events regarding abuses – of minors, of power and conscience – we have delved into the seriousness (of the abuses) as well as the tragic consequences they have had, particularly for the victims,” the pope said.
The bishops met at the Vatican from 15th to 17th May to discuss with Pope Francis their handling of clerical sex abuse allegations.
Pope Francis invited three sex abuse survivors – Juan Carlos Cruz, Jose Andres Murillo and James Hamilton – to stay at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where he lives, and to meet with him individually from 27th to 29th April. They met him again as a group on 30th April.
Picture: Pope Francis poses for a photo with Chilean bishops at the Vatican on 17th May. (CNS photo/Vatican Media).