Chilean bishop says mistakes were made in handling abuse cases

Pope Francis says he has thought about when it's time to 'take leave'

As far as I am concern, I admit, and I want you to convey it faithfully, that I have made serious mistakes of assessment and perception on the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information, he underlined.

Chilean Bishop Fernando Ramos said the meetings would address "abuse of power, abuse of conscience, and sexual abuse that have occurred in recent decades in the Chilean Church, as well as the mechanisms that led, in some cases, to concealment and serious omissions against the victims".

Francis made the comment during his morning homily in which he reflected on the apostle, Paul's, life and said taking leave of one's flock is a decision all bishops must make at some point, according to The Associated Press.

Speaking to reporters, Bishop Ignacio Gonzalez said: "The main focus is the victims, we can always make amends and move towards reconciliation with them".

The pope also said families provided hope for the future.

The behind-closed-doors meetings in the Vatican is to involve the Pope, 31 diocesan and auxiliary bishops from Chile, two retired bishops, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Victims say Barros had knowledge of the abuse but did nothing to stop it.




Juan Carlos Cruz and others said that Barros witnessed his being abused by Fr Fernando Karadima in the 1980s, and did nothing about it.

'Right now, I apologize to all of whom I offended and I expect to be able to do so personally in the next few weeks, at meetings that I will have with representatives of the people interviewed, ' the Pope pointed out.

"It's a strong passage, a passage that goes straight to the heart", the Pope said.

The Vatican said in a statement that the bishops' meeting is part of a "long synodal process" to work out the "responsibility of everyone for these devastating wounds, and to study adequate and lasting changes that prevent a repeat of these reprehensible acts".

"There are people who are victims of abuse and this causes us profound pain and shame", Ramos added.

A conference spokesman, Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez, said "it's possible" some bishops would offer to resign, but that it was up to the pope.

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