Who is Lying in the Vatican?
Marie Collins handing the letter detailing victims’ complaints of a sex abuse cover up in Chile to Cardinal Seán O’Malley on April 12th 2015.
I can't believe I am reading the Tablet these days but it is born of some sort of morbid curiosity as I watch the Pope's former buddies organise themselves into a firing squad.
You may remember I drew your attention to an article by Robert Mickens in La Croix on Jan 20th. Mickens continues to chase this story writing yesterday in the Tablet.
The latest revelation is that, despite Pope Francis claim that "No one has come forward" he actually received an 8-page letter in 2015 detailing the abuse suffered at the hands of Fr Karadima (pictured above is the letter being given to Cardinal Sean O’Malley).
The existence of this letter contradicts the Pope’s insistence that victims of Fr Fernando Karadima had not come forward to complain about a cover-up by Bishop Juan Barros, who Francis appointed to lead the Diocese of Osorno in 2015.
“You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward,” Francis told journalists on the plane returning to Rome at the end of his six-day Latin America trip at the end of last month. He also said on the plane: “No one has come forward. They haven’t provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague. It’s something that can’t be accepted.”
But members of the papal child protection commission say they presented an eight-page letter written by Juan Carlos Cruz to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in April 2015. The cardinal is Francis’ top adviser on abuse. In the letter, Cruz makes detailed claims of the kissing and fondling that Karadima subjected him to, which he stressed Barros was a witness to. The intention was for the cardinal to then hand the letter to Francis.
“Cardinal O’Malley called me after the Pope’s visit here in Philadelphia and he told me, among other things, that he had given the letter to the Pope — in his hands,” he told Associated Press on Sunday.
Now, Marie Collins - a respected advocate for sexual abuse victims - has described herself as shocked, mystified and surprised by Pope Francis’ response to the Chilean bishop accused of lying about his knowledge of abuse.
“Cardinal O’Malley called me after the Pope’s visit here in Philadelphia and he told me, among other things, that he had given the letter to the Pope — in his hands,”Cruz said in an interview at his home Sunday. Apparently neither the Vatican nor O’Malley responded to multiple requests for comment.
So someone is clearly telling porkie-pies (that's lies if you don't speak Cockney). Is it Cardinal O'Malley, or is it the Pope?Cardinal O’Malley said he gave the letter to the Pope - why would you @cnalive doubt he was speaking the truth? https://t.co/iQuwoFMbKU— Marie Collins (@marielco) February 5, 2018
Considering Cardinal O'Malley's comments, which many saw as a public rebuke, after the Pope denied all knowledge, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine that his reaction was born of dismay, having given the letter to the Pope as Marie Collins states?
Francis has been heavily criticised for both his appointment - and continued defence - of Bishop Barros, who himself has offered to resign from his position on two occasions. During his visit to Chile, the Pope upset victims by telling reporters in Santiago that until he was presented with “proof” that Barros covered up the claims agains the bishop were “calumny.” And while he later apologised for these remarks on the plane back to Rome, Francis reiterated that evidence had not been presented to him.Source: ‘Apparently Vatican is desperately casting around for someone to say "I took the letter and didn't do anything with it, it's not the pope's fault”. Unsurprisingly there are no takers.’— Damian Thompson (@holysmoke) February 8, 2018
In his letter - written in the Pope's native Spanish - Cruz reveals that Barros himself would be kissed and fondled by his mentor, Karadima, who was found guilty by a Vatican court in 2011 and ordered to live a life of prayer and penance. The abusive priest was a highly influential figure in church circles in Chile.
“More difficult and tough was when we were in Karadima’s room and Juan Barros — if he wasn’t kissing Karadima — would watch when Karadima would touch us — the minors — and make us kiss him, saying: ‘Put your mouth near mine and stick out your tongue.’ He would stick his out and kiss us with his tongue,” Cruz wrote in his letter to the Pope. “Juan Barros was a witness to all this innumerable times, not just with me but with others as well.”