Cardinal O'Malley: Pope caused 'great pain' for abuse survivors in Chile

By Joshua J. McElwee, Jan 20, 2018, The National Catholic Reporter

TRUJILLO, PERU — Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, one of Pope Francis' key advisors on clergy sexual abuse, acknowledged Jan. 20 that the pontiff's defense of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse was "a source of great pain" for survivors.

In an unusually blunt statement from a church prelate in response to a controversial action of a pope, the cardinal also said that expressions of doubt about survivors' testimony "abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity."


O'Malley is responding to Francis' defense of Osorno, Chile Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, who is accused of not reporting abuse perpetrated by a fellow priest in the 1980s and '90s.

Questioned Jan. 18 by reporters about Barros during a visit to Chile, the pontiff called the charges "calumny" and said . . . 

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  • John Nesbella
    commented 2018-01-22 07:21:53 -0600
    In my 55 years, I have never heard any pope even condemn the most horrible sins of our time. But they will save the most bitter condemnations for anyone who accuses the pope’s friends of sexual abuse of minors. You have to remember that pope francis is a South American archbishop and cardinal and these guys he is defending are his good buddies. See the good old boy’s club at work! Expect no justice from the boys from Argentina (or South America).

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