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Rome Reports

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Karadima victims: Pope asked us for forgiveness, but we want him to take action


Following three individual meetings at Casa Santa Marta and another together in which they spoke with the pope about the abuse they suffered, three of Chilean priest Fernando Karadima's victims explained their encounter with Pope Francis. 

JAMES HAMILTON
Abuse victim

“We met a friendly face of the Church during these days, completely different from the one we met before. The pope formally asked for our forgiveness in his own name and that of the Universal Church.”

Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and José Andrés Murillo assure the Holy Father was deeply moved when he asked them for forgiveness. After having met with him, they're convinced the pope had been given erroneous information on the Karadima case. 

JUAN CARLOS CRUZ
Abuse victim

“My conclusion is that the pope was truly misinformed.”

They also spoke with Pope Francis about the Chilean bishops, for whom they had strong words. They would like for the justice system to try two cardinals. 

JAMES HAMILTON
Abuse victim

“We would love that. As soon as possible for Cardinal Errázuriz, who we believe covered up abuse and we're even more sure today of his criminal action. The same with Cardinal Ezzati. We would love to send them all to prison.”

JUAN CARLOS CRUZ
Abuse victim

“I told the pope that not only Msgr. Juan Barros but also Bishop Horacio Venezuela, Bishop Andrés Arteaga and Bishop Tomislav Koljatic watched as Karadima touched and abused young people. The pope received that information.”

JOSÉ ANDRÉS MURILLO
Abuse victim

“Today, the bishops are lobbying tremendously to save themselves from the pope's hand.”

JUAN CARLOS CRUZ
Abuse victim

“The pope asked for forgiveness in the name of the Universal Church. The Episcopal Conference of Chile doesn't know how to ask for forgiveness.”

The victims appreciate the affection, the attention and, above all, Pope Francis' plea for forgiveness, but they want it to be followed by action. Their petitions are clear and blunt. 

JOSÉ ANDRÉS MURILLO
Abuse victim

“We ask the pope directly that he not falter with those who must be considered, not as guilty of a sin but of a crime and the deepest corruption found in society.”

They say Pope Francis has assured them he will take action. For now, the first act was consulting with them. The Holy Father must now hear the version of the Chilean bishops, who will also come to Rome to tell their side.