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Vatican team investigating abuse cover-ups to return to Chile

To promote healing after reports of sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis will send Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Fr Jordi Bertomeu Farnos back to Chile.

Both will visit the Diocese of Osorno “with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims,” the Vatican said in a statement on 31st May.

Abuse survivors have alleged that Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno – then a priest – had witnessed their abuse by his mentor, Fr Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Fr Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Archbishop Scicluna, who is president of a board of review handling abuse cases within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Fr Bertomeu, an official of the doctrinal congregation, will depart “in the next few days,” the Vatican said.

The Vatican also announced that “the pope will send the president of the Chilean bishops’ conference a letter written personally by him and addressed to all the people of God, as he had promised the bishops.”

Picture: Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta participates in a Mass in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this 29th June 2015, file photo. To promote healing after reports of sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis will send Archbishop Scicluna back to Chile. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).