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ALL 34 Chilean Catholic bishops offered their resignation to Pope Francis yesterday over allegations of child sex abuse and a systematic cover-up by the church hierarchy.
Demands for the bishops to quit surged after details of a 2,300-page Vatican report on the Chilean scandal were leaked yesterday morning.
Pope Francis accused the bishops, 31 in office and three retired, of destroying evidence of sex crimes, coercing investigators to minimise abuse accusations and showing “grave negligence” in the protection of children from paedophile priests.
In one of the Vatican’s most damning documents on the issue, the Pope said the entire Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling cases and the resulting loss of credibility suffered by the church.
The pontiff also admitted having made “grave errors of judgement” personally in defending Bishop Juan Barros, who was accused by victims of Chilean priest Fernando Karadima of witnessing and ignoring their abuse.
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