31 March 2015, The Tablet

Vatican stands by Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse

The Holy See has defended its decision to appoint as bishop a Chilean prelate accused of covering-up child abuse.

The appointment of Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno has been questioned by two members of Pope Francis' safeguarding board and a third, Peter Saunders, has said he may have to quit unless Pope Francis withdraws the appointment. The bishop’s installation Mass on 21 March was cut short amid loud protests by crowds who were angry at his handling of allegations regarding abuser Fr Fernando Karadima, 84.

In a brief statement on Wednesday the Vatican said: “Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.”

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