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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Chilean bishop says mistakes were made in handling abuse cases

A Chilean bishop acknowledged the damage inflicted on survivors of clerical sex abuse and the mishandling of cases by Church leaders in the country.

“I am not saying that perhaps we have made mistakes. We have made mistakes,” said Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo.

Bishop Gonzalez, along with Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of Santiago, met with journalists on 14th May on the eve of a three-day meeting between Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops.

The bishops are meeting at the Vatican from 15th to 17th May to discuss with Pope Francis their handling of clerical sex abuse allegations.

Echoing Pope Francis’ 11th April letter to the Chilean bishops, Bishop Ramos told journalists that the bishops felt “pain and shame” for the abuses committed.

“Receiving information that sexual abuses occurred in our community left many people in shock, because it is something that is unacceptable, intolerable, unjustifiable from every point of view,” Bishop Ramos said.

Picture: Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of Santiago, Chile, and Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo, Chile, lead a press conference at the Vatican on 14th May. Pope Francis is meeting this week with Chile’s bishops in the wake of a clerical sex-abuse crisis. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).