Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Gerard O’ConnellApril 27, 2018
 Pope Francis walks past a video journalist during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)   Pope Francis walks past a video journalist during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

Pope Francis has begun his face-to-face, “personal encounters” with the three Chilean abuse victims that accepted his invitation to come and talk with him, the Vatican announced this Friday evening, April 27.

The three victims—Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andrés Murillo—are staying in Santa Marta, the Vatican guest house where the pope lives. He will first meet each of them individually, one or more times, and when they have said all they want to say, Francis will meet them as a group.

The pope will first meet each of the victims individually, one or more times, and then as a group.

In a statement issued this evening, the director of the Vatican Press Office Greg Burke said Pope Francis’ “priority” is “to listen to the victims, ask pardon and respect the confidentiality of these conversations,” and so at his expressed wish “no official communique of the content of these [personal encounters] is envisaged.” Francis wants to emphasize that this is serious business, not a public relations exercise.

The statement said that “in this climate of trust and of reparation for the suffering [of the victims], Pope Francis wishes to let those invited speak for all the time that is necessary, in such a way that there are no fixed times nor pre-established contents [for the conversations].”

The three Chileans will eat and sleep under the same roof as the pope in the coming days.

The three Chileans entered Santa Marta late yesterday and will eat and sleep under the same roof as the pope in the coming days. They are his guests, and he is making himself fully available to them, in a spirit of humility. He bears the cost of their trip and their stay, which could last several days.

He wishes not only to make amends and ask pardon for offending them and for the abuse they suffered, but he also desires to hear all they have to say about their terrible ordeals and to listen to the proposals they have for dealing with the dramatic situation of the church in Chile and for avoiding a repetition of such abuses in the future.

All three were victims of the infamous Chilean priest predator, Father Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty by the Vatican in 2011 of the abuse of minors in the 1970s and 1980s and sentenced to a life of prayer and penance.

The Vatican statement was issued in Spanish, probably because many Chilean journalists have come to Rome for this event. There is also enormous international interest in this extraordinary encounter.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Bill Mazzella
4 years 5 months ago

This is a meeting of inimitable historical importance. It is a tsunami in Catholicism. A paradigm change. This was this pope's greatest failing and he has been so good otherwise. What these priests did and the subsequent is so sick. We have seen this before but this cover-up was more galling. Coming from a pope who should have known better. This is a historic week in the history of the church.Where the servant of the people will show in deed more than words that it is service not power that is the hallmark of the servants of God.

The latest from america

The company of Roundabout Theatre Company's “1776” (photo by Joan Marcus)
While Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular Founding Fathers remix was built for performers of color, “1776” has been retrofitted onto this troupe of talented women.
Rob Weinert-KendtOctober 06, 2022
A Reflection for the Twenty-seventh Thursday in Ordinary Time, by Cristobal Spielmann
Cristobal SpielmannOctober 06, 2022
We cannot help but draw dividing lines, but the Gospel wants us to know that they are our lines, not God’s. They are a consequence of sin’s entrance in the world.
Terrance KleinOctober 05, 2022
A priest sits in front of a microphone wearing clerical clothing
Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch apologized for offending people and said he never intended to imply that supporters of the German church’s Synodal Path were acting similar to a group of Christian supporters of the Nazis in the 1930s.
Catholic News ServiceOctober 05, 2022