Inés San Martín
May 15, 2018
ROME – After the first meeting between Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops to talk about “extraordinary challenges [regarding] abuse of power, sexual [abuse] and [abuses] of conscience” facing the Chilean Church, on Tuesday the Vatican released a statement saying Francis had given the prelates a text on which to “pray and meditate.”
“This afternoon the pope gave each of the bishops a text with some themes on which to meditate; from now on until the next meeting, a moment opens dedicated exclusively to meditation and prayer,” the short statement says.
The statement was released after the first meeting between the pope and the prelates came to an end. Having started at 4:00 pm local, it lasted for about two hours and took place in the auletta of the Paul VI Synod Hall, a room located in the hall where popes hold their weekly audiences during bad-weather months.
There will be three more meetings: One on Wednesday afternoon and two on Thursday.
The bishops were summoned to Rome by Francis in a letter dated April 8. He penned it after receiving a report from Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu. The pontiff had tasked them with looking into Bishop Juan Barros, who’s been accused of covering up for a pedophile priest.
Scicluna and Bertomeu presented a 2,300-page long report that led to Francis acknowledging that he’d made “serious errors.” He also asked three victims of Father Fernando Karadima, who’s been found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors, to come to Rome. They did so in late April.