Francis continues quest to get to the truth in Barros-Karadima proceedings.
Gallbladder surgery has put a brief hitch into the investigation of sexual abuse in Chile, though the pope’s envoy, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, is said to be recovering well from the operation he had to receive today.
The archbishop is now in Chile, where his gallbladder was removed today after he began to experience discomfort some days ago and was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday night. He had already met with two of the victims he was scheduled to see.
He was to hear testimonies through Friday from victims of abuse perpetrated by Father Fernando Karadima. Archbishop Scicluna is one of the Church’s foremost experts in these investigations.
Before arriving in Chile, the Malta archbishop met one of the principal victims of Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, for four hours on Saturday in New York.
Cruz told reporters afterward, “We’ll see what the outcome is of all this, but I feel that Monsignor Scicluna is a very good man, and I think he was sincerely moved by what I was saying. He cried.
“I felt that he was concerned and that he was listening.”
Cruz gave the archbishop two letters that he wrote in 2005, and sent to the apostolic nuncio in Chile and Peru, but which were never answered.
Archbishop Scicluna’s investigation of the Karadima case involves what role, if any, was played by Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, who is accused of having been aware of Karadima’s crimes and covering them up.
The situation with Barros caused controversy during the pope’s trip to Chile last month, with the pope telling reporters that he didn’t have evidence against Barros, and then on the plane, saying that his word choice had wounded survivors, which he apologized for.
Archbishop Scicluna was to do the interviews accompanied by Bishop Jordi Bertomeu of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During Scicluna’s recovery, Bishop Bertomeu will continue with the interviews.
The Sovereign Pontiff took advantage of the development to “reiterate his closeness and prayers for Chile.”