May 18, 2018
By NICOLE WINFIELD
VATICAN CITY (AP) — 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 suffered.
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.