Culture&Arts

Pope Francis appoints new members to Commission for Protection of Minors

Pope Francis appoints new members to Commission for Protection of Minors

(Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz) Chilean victim of clerical sexual abuse Juan Cruz shakes hands with a church member as he exits a meeting with investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta in New York City, New York, U.S., February 17, 2018.

"It pains me very much", he added. "'I think it is good to talk with Monsignor Scicluna, because it is apart from the bad Chilean cardinals (Francisco Javier) Errázuriz and (Ricardo) Ezzati", he noted.

The seven members who were re-appointed are: Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, director of the Center for Child Protection at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University; Gabriel Dy-Liacco, a psychotherapist from the Philippines; Auxiliary Bishop Luis Manuel Ali Herrera of Bogota, Colombia; Hannah Suchocka, professor of law and former prime minister of Poland; Sister of Charity Kayula Lesa of Zambia, who has worked with refugees and in the prevention of human trafficking; Precious Blood Sister Hermenegild Makoro, secretary-general of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference; and Msgr.

In a rare u-turn, last month he apologized for saying that abuse survivors should show "proof" of the crimes against them, and dispatched Scicluna, one of the Vatican's most respected abuse investigators, to Chile to probe the claims of victims. "He cried", Cruz said.

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"For the first time I feel that someone is listening", said Cruz, who now lives in Philadelphia and works for a large-multinational company in nearby Delaware.

The Vatican found the priest, Father Fernando Karadima, guilty of abusing teenage boys in 2010 and sentenced him to a lifetime of "penance and prayer", as well as "lifelong prohibition from the public exercise of any ministerial act, particularly confession and the spiritual guidance of any category of persons". "Covering up abuse is an abuse in itself".

Controversy over the 61-year-old Barros marred Pope Francis' trip to Chile last month, when he hugged and defended the bishop. He also said that the conversation was not only about Barros, but also about the alleged role that several other bishops and Chilean Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz and Ricardo Ezzati played in the cover-up.

Scicluna will travel to Chile on Tuesday to continue his investigation of Barros there.

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The meeting between Scicluna and whistleblower Juan Carlos Cruz will take place at a Roman Catholic church in Manhattan.

Francis sparked outrage in 2015 when he appointed Barros, then Chile's military chaplain, to head the diocese of Osorno, Chile, over the objections of some members of the Chilean bishops' conference who were concerned about fallout from Karadima's actions.

In New York, Cruz said that Scicluna told him he will gather all the evidence and testimony from victims in the Barros case and speak directly to the pope about it. It is all slander.

He said he insisted that other victims must be heard, and Scicluna took the request seriously.

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State-affiliated Fana Broadcast Corporate also reported Siraj dismissing "as false rumours of military takeover of the government".

"The pope needs to understand that is what survivors need".


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