VATICAN CITY — The Latest on a sex abuse and cover-up scandal involving the Catholic Church in Chile (all times local):
All of Chile’s bishops have offered to resign over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, in what is one of the biggest shake-ups ever in the Catholic Church’s long-running abuse saga.
At the end of an emergency summit with Pope Francis, 31 active bishops said they had signed a document offering to resign and that they were putting their fate in the hands of the pope.
The mass resignation marks the first time in history that an entire bishops conference had offered to step down en masse over a scandal.
It also lays bare the devastation that the case has caused to the Catholic Church in Chile and beyond.
Pope Francis has accused Chile’s bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring church lawyers to minimize accusations and of “grave negligence” in protecting children from pedophile priests.
In a devastating 10-page document delivered to Chilean bishops during a summit this week, Francis said the entire Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling abuse cases and the resulting loss of credibility that the Catholic Church has earned.
The document, reported by Chile’s T13 television and confirmed as authentic Friday by the Vatican, puts mounting pressure on the bishops as a whole to resign given Francis told them that “no one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others.”
The bishops are due to hold a news conference in Rome later Friday.
By Associated Press – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (A.S)