By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
In a communication issued on Wednesday by the Holy See’s Press Office, other victims of Fr Fernando Karadima’s abuse, or that of his followers, at the parish of Sagrado Corazón de Providencia (“El Bosque”) in Chile will meet with Pope Francis at the beginning of June.
Members of the group
Among the group are 5 priests who were victims of “abuse of power, of conscience and sexual abuse”, as well as another 2 priests who “have assisted the victims throughout the juridical and spiritual process, and 2 lay people involved in this suffering”. The group will be provided hospitality in the same Casa Santa Marta where the Pope lives
The communique reported that most of those coming also took part in the meetings that took place in Chile with Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop Jordi Bertomeu in February. Others collaborated in the weeks after their visit.
Specifics about the meeting
This upcoming June meeting was scheduled a month ago because “Pope Francis wants to demonstrate his closeness to the abused priests, to accompany them in their pain and listen to their valuable opinion so as to improve preventive measures and the fight against abuse in the Church”, the press office stated. Thus will conclude the first phase of the meetings that Pope Francis wanted to have with the victims from Sagrado Corazón de Providencia parish.
The meetings will be conducted “in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality”. On Saturday morning, 2 June, the Pope will celebrate Mass privately at Casa Santa Marta. In the afternoon, a meeting with the group is scheduled which will be followed by individual meetings.
“The Holy Father continues to ask the faithful of Chile”, the communique concludes, “and especially the faithful of the parishes where these priests have exercised their pastoral ministry—to accompany them with prayer and solidarity during these days”.