New Cases Added to Chilean Investigation on Church Abuse Scandal
By Mei Manuel, September 06, 2018 23:09 PM
On Friday, Chilean prosecutors revealed that the number of church abuse cases committed by the members of the Chilean Catholic Church that they are now reviewing have tripled to 119 in the past month.
The prosecutors said that among the 167 people they are currently investigating, seven of them are bishops while 96 are priests. They are accused of several unspecified abuses from 178 alleged victims, including 79 minors.
The report from the prosecutors given to the media on Friday does not detail the type of abuse done, but the common abuse often attached to the clergy is that they are covering up for their fellows who have committed the abuse.
In July this year, the prosecutors have referred to 36 investigations which involved several priests and bishops.
The sudden interest in church abuse cases in Chile was brought by a report made by Vatican's top sex abuse investigator regarding the Chilean's church inability to investigate allegations and that several evidences have been destroyed. Pope Francis himself had met with both the victims and the bishops earlier this year. Several members of the clergy have already been removed from their position, while others are still awaiting Pope Francis' response on their resignation in May.
Chile is one of the few countries worldwide where the Catholic Church faces a lot of scrutiny, especially when it comes to sexual abuse committed by the clergy. Pope Francis has been against church abuse by the clergy, but he had been besieged by several criticisms recently by former senior Vatican official Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who said that the Pope had covered up the wrongdoings of former and retired archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Pope Francis refuses to comment on these allegations and Vigano himself had been getting criticisms because of his statements.
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