Associated Press: Abuse Victim Felt ‘shock to see the Pope lying’ about sexual abuse (VIDEO)
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“(5 Feb 2018) A victim of sexual abuse by notorius (sic) paedophile priest Fernando Karadima has alleged Pope Francis received testimony of abuse he suffered, despite the Pontiff claiming he had never heard directly from any victims.
Juan Carlos Cruz wrote a graphic letter detailing “sexual and psychological abuse” he suffered at the hands of the Chilean priest, who was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for abusing minors.
He claims that there was a cover-up by Chilean authorities, and also a bishop who was appointed by Pope Francis to the Osorno diocese of Chile in January 2015.
The decision was controversial as Juan Barros was a Karadima protege, and according to Cruz and other victims, he witnessed the abuse and did nothing.
The letter was eventually handed to a top cardinal at the Vatican in 2015, and Cruz says the cardinal later confirmed he had passed it on to the pope.
“I decided to write this letter because I am tired of fighting, of crying and suffering,” Cruz told The Associated Press.
The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that none of the victims had come forward.
It also calls into question his claim of “zero tolerance” for sex abuse and cover-ups, and his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.
The scandal exploded last month when Francis’ trip to South America was marred by protests over his vigorous defense of Bishop Juan Barros.
During the trip, Francis callously dismissed accusations against Barros as “slander,” seemingly unaware that victims had placed him at the scene of Karadima’s crimes.
On the plane home, confronted by an AP reporter, the pope said: “You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward.”
But members of the pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors say that in April 2015, they sent a delegation to Rome specifically to hand-deliver a letter to the pope about Barros.”