several members of Pope Francis’ sex abuse advisory board are expressing concern and incredulity over his decision to appoint Bishop Juan Barro, a Chilean bishop, to a diocese despite allegations from victims that he covered up for Chile’s most notorious pedophile. Barros was installed last week as bishop of Osorno in southern Chile amid nationwide political opposition, violent protests in the cathedral and a boycott by most of the diocese’s priests and deacons. It was an almost unheard-of vote of no-confidence for a bishop in an overwhelmingly Catholic country in a part of the world that the Argentine pope knows well. Francis’ record on sex abuse has been somewhat mixed.
It goes completely against what he (Francis) has said in the past about those who protect abusers. The voice of the survivors…and the concerns of many clergy in Chile are being ignored and the safety of children in this diocese is being left in the hands of a bishop about whom there are grave concerns for his commitment to child protection.
Marie Collins, herself a survivor of abuse
The White House says President Barack Obama will host Pope Francis in Washington when he visits the United States this fall. Francis is already scheduled to address the annual U.N. General Assembly of world leaders on Sept. 25. The pope has also agreed to address a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 24, the first time the head of the world’s Roman Catholics will address Congress.
As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years.
U.S. President Barack Obama