Pope’s Zero-Tolerance for Pedophiles Faces Test in Chile

Pope Francis

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Pope Francis’ appointment of a bishop in southern Chile has created an outcry by victims of sex abuse and other parishioners.

The Rev. Juan Barros is set to take over in Osorno this weekend. Some abuse victims accuse him of covering up for his mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, in the 1980s and 1990s. A Vatican investigation in 2011 found the now 84-year-old Karadima guilty of molesting minors and sentenced him to a cloistered life of “penitence and prayer.”

Victims say Barros knew about the abuse and sometimes even watched it. The controversy is being watched closely by victims and advocacy groups as a test of whether Francis will meet their demands to hold bishops accountable for having ignored or covered up wrongdoing by priests.

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