VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Four lay members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors met with one of Pope Francis’ top cardinal advisers at the Vatican April 12 to voice their concerns about the appointment of a Chilean bishop, accused of covering up for an abusive priest.
The four said in a written statement the same day that Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, who is also the protection commission’s president, “agreed to present their concerns to the Holy Father” about the nomination of Bishop Juan Barros to the Diocese of Osorno, Chile.
The bishop had been accused of covering up for a priest who was known to have committed sexual abuse. Bishop Barros, however, denied having had knowledge of Father Fernando Karadima’s criminal behavior, prior to news about the abuse in the press.
Commission member Marie Collins from Ireland expressed her satisfaction with their discussion at the Vatican, posting on her Twitter feed April 13 that she was “heading home after a good meeting” with Cardinal O’Malley.
The three other members of the 17-person commission at the 30-minute meeting included Peter Saunders, Dr. Catherine Bonnet and Baroness Sheila Hollins. Collins and Saunders are both survivors of clerical sex abuse.
“Although we are not charged with dealing with individual cases, the protection of minors is our primary concern,” the four members said in their statement. “The process of appointing bishops who are committed to and have an understanding of child protection is of paramount importance.”
Bishops, they said, must be able to “enact effective policies” on sex abuse and “carefully monitor compliance.”
The commission members had scheduled their meeting with Cardinal O’Malley to coincide with his arrival in Rome for another weeklong session of the nine-member Council of Cardinals, set to start April 13.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103