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Rome Reports

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Bishops from Chile before meeting with Pope Francis: Victims are our priority. We feel pain and shame

Beginning on Tuesday afternoon, the majority of the Chilean bishops will meet with Pope Francis to be informed on the extent of the abuse crisis in their country and look for a way forward. Two of them gave a preview of the encounter during a press conference, saying they're in pain and ashamed. 

Secretary General, Chilean Episcopal Conference
“We're beginning this process of encounter and discernment with the Holy Father, as we said, our initial attitude is one of listening; we believe he's going to give us relevant and very important information to be able to take this journey. For right now, if this problem continues, if the pain, accusations and discomfort of some victims continue, it means we haven't done our work and we must do better. I think there's a really important space for self-evaluation there that we must improve. Just like there are other potential areas like redemption, being able to have the necessary mechanisms to be able to handle these situations.”

It's still unknown which measures the pope will take to address the issue, and dismissal of some bishops has not been ruled out. 

Bishop of San Bernardo (Chile)
“I stand next to the victims and say, 'I understand' and stay there. Secondly, we all know that the nomination and dismissal of a bishop is something under the pope's control. That could happen, but it doesn't depend on us. I think everyone must discern with the pope.”

The encounters will continue until Thursday at least. They will take place in a confidential environment, it's uncertain when the Vatican will reveal the Holy Father's conclusions.