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Rome Reports

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Chilean bishops meet with Pope Francis to explain what has changed after the abuse crisis


The pope has met with the standing committee of the Chilean bishops. There the Church is going through a delicate moment because of mishandling of abuse cases.

First they met for an hour in the Apostolic Palace, and then they had lunch for two hours. 

MSGR. FERNANDO RAMOS
Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference (Chile)
“It was, I would say, a very interesting encounter with a great collaboration of the Holy Father. He made a series of suggestions and comments coming here we also wanted to reaffirm our commitment of communion, participation and collaboration with the mission of the Holy Father.”

The bishops do not revealed concrete measures. However, the meeting shows the pope is closely following their situation and they are determined to follow his guidance. 

In May, the country's 34 bishops handed over their resignations to the pope. Pope Francis accepted and replaced seven who had not acted correctly against abuses. 

MSGR. FERNANDO RAMOS
Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference (Chile)
“For the pope, all Chilean bishops are in office. The written resignations in the Church lose force after three months. So Pope Francis considers that we are all fufilling our duty. However, if there is the need to address a particular case, he will address it directly with the person concerned.”

Among the participants was the archbishop of Chile's capital, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, 77 years old. He has now reached retirement age, and the pope is looking for a candidate to fill his position.