A former Chilean seminarian who accused a current bishop of abuse cover-up met with a Vatican investigator and said he finally felt he had been heard.
Juan Carlos Cruz met for nearly four hours on 17th February with Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, a longtime expert on clergy sex abuse. Cruz, who currently lives and works in Philadelphia, said that this is the first time he felt Church officials had listened to how, as a seminarian, he was sexually abused by Fr Fernando Karadima, a Chilean priest. Cruz maintains that now-Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, witnessed some of the abuse.
In a statement to reporters outside of Manhattan’s Church of the Holy Name of Jesus on 17th February, Cruz called his meeting “a good experience,” one he described as emotional and at times “very intense and very detailed.” He also said he thought it was “eye-opening” for the archbishop.
“I leave here very hopeful today,” Cruz told reporters after the meeting. He called Archbishop Scicluna “a very good man, and I think he was sincerely moved by what I was saying. He cried.”
Picture: Juan Cruz shakes hands with a Franciscan friar on 17th February after meeting with Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, Italy, at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in New York City. Pope Francis asked Cardinal Scicluna to investigate allegations that Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, covered up allegations of abuse committed by his former mentor, Fr Fernando Karadima. Cruz, a victim of Fr Karadima’s now living in Philadelphia, had written to Pope Francis in 2015 claiming that then-Fr Barros was present when some of the abuse took place. (CNS photo/Eduardo Munoz, Reuters).