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"The pope cannot say one thing and then do another. None of us can."

13 april 2015

Joshua J. McElwee, NCR, skriver bl.a:

Members of the Vatican commission on clergy sexual abuse say an unscheduled meeting in Rome Sunday with Cardinal Sean O'Malley made them feel heard in their concerns about the appointment of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse.

O'Malley, the commission members said, promised to pass on those concerns about Bishop Juan Barros Madrid to Pope Francis in coming days.

"The meeting went very well and the cardinal is going to take our concerns to the Holy Father," Marie Collins, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told NCR early Monday morning.

"It was a very, very successful meeting, really, from our point of view," she said.

Collins was one of four members of the Vatican commission that came to Rome Sunday for the visit, held at the Sanctae Martae hotel where Francis lives.

Barros was installed as the bishop of Osorno, Chile last month amid protests in the cathedral. Chilean survivors accuse him of covering up abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima.

The survivors say that as a priest, Barros not only worked to cover up Karadima's crimes, but witnessed some of them as they happened. In 2011, the Vatican found Karadima, a once-renowned spiritual leader and key Chilean church figure, guilty of sexually abusing minors.

O'Malley is the president of the Vatican commission and is also a member of the Council of Cardinals, the group of prelates advising Francis on how to reform the Vatican bureaucracy. He is in Rome this week for a Monday-Wednesday meeting of the Council.


Also taking part in the meeting with O'Malley were three other members of the Vatican commission, who are all part of a subcommittee of the commission: Peter Saunders, Catherine Bonnet, and Sheila Hollins.


Said Saunders on Friday: "The pope cannot say one thing and then do another. None of us can."

"If he says bishops must be accountable and will be held to account, if there is zero tolerance of anybody within the ranks of the church who is abusing, then they are out -- then he has to stick to that," he continued.

"I need an explanation as to why these things are not happening. Otherwise, I cannot see any point of me being on the commission," Saunders said. "I'm pretty sure that others may feel the same."

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