SANTIAGO (Reuters) – More sex abuse accusations against the Roman Catholic Church in Chile are emerging, including against Pope Francis’s own Jesuit order, shortly after the Vatican accepted resignations from three of the country’s bishops in the wake of an abuse and cover-up scandal that has seriously damaged the conservative Andean country’s most popular religion.
Several people who claim to have been abused by members of the Jesuit and Marist religious communities in Chile said they have requested time with Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, and Father Jordi Bertomeu, a Spanish official from the Vatican, during their week-long “reparation and reconciliation” mission due to start on Tuesday in Santiago.
Scicluna - Bertomeu - Chile - February - Accusations
Scicluna and Bertomeu were in Chile in February to investigate accusations of abuse. They conducted 64 interviews during that visit. The scandal came to a head when the pontiff visited the country in January.
One of the most recent accusers to step forward, Helmut Kramer, a 48-year-old engineer from Santiago, told Reuters on Monday that at the age of 13, he was forced to strip and was fondled by Father Leonel Ibacache, a Jesuit, in meetings held under the pretext of preparing him for baptism and enrollment in the Jesuit school in the northern city of Antofagasta in 1983.
Kramer - Interview - Church - Official - Abuse
Kramer said in an interview that he told a senior Church official about the abuse several years later, but nothing was done. That official, too, was later accused of sexual abuse by young catholics and was removed from his post in 2013. Ibacache, who also taught in the city of Puerto Montt, was later transferred without public explanation to a school in Santiago.
“I kept quiet all those years. I thought I was the only one in the world who had ever suffered that,” Kramer said. ”I hope that at least the pope feels ashamed that it...
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