In the wake of a papal investigation into abuse of power, negligence and the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church in Chile, Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of two more of the country’s bishops: Bishops Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, 78, and Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca, 64, of Talca.
Pope Francis named two apostolic administrators – two auxiliary bishops from the Archdiocese of Santiago – to govern the now “vacant” dioceses: Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos Perez, 59, for Rancagua, and Bishop Galo Fernandez Villaseca, 57, for Talca.
The Vatican made the announcement today, 28th June.
Almost every bishop in Chile had offered his resignation to Pope Francis in mid-May after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal detailed in a 2,300-page report compiled by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and his aide, Fr Jordi Bertomeu.
The pope also held a series of private meetings at the Vatican with survivors, including priests, who were abused by Chilean Fr Fernando Karadima or his followers.
Fr Karadima was eventually found guilty of sexual abuse and sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance. But there also were allegations by survivors that Bishop Juan Barros – then a priest – as well as other members of Fr Karadima’s inner circle had witnessed abuse by their mentor.
Picture: The St Ignatius of Loyola Church of the Jesuit Fathers is seen in Santiago, Chile on 13th June 2018. Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more of the country’s bishops today, on 28th June: Bishops Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, 78, and Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca, 64, of Talca. (CNS photo/Rodrigo Garrido, Reuters).