Pope Francis on Saturday changed Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the embattled archbishop of Santiago, Chile, after he turned embroiled within the nation’s spiraling intercourse abuse and cover-up scandal.
Francis accepted Cardinal Ezzati’s resignation and named a short lived substitute to manipulate Chile’s most necessary archdiocese: the Spanish-born Capuchin friar and present bishop of Copiapo, Chile, Monsignor Celestino Aos Braco.
The 77-year-old Cardinal Ezzati had submitted his resignation to Francis two years in the past when he reached the necessary retirement age of 75. However Francis stored him on, and Cardinal Ezzati turned the flash level of survivors’ ire for mishandling a number of instances of abuse.
Francis himself turned embroiled within the scandal after initially discrediting victims throughout his 2018 journey to Chile, sparking a disaster in confidence within the Chilean hierarchy and his personal management.
After realizing his error and apologizing to the victims, Francis summoned all of Chile’s 30-plus energetic bishops to the Vatican final Could and strong-armed them into providing their resignations. Up to now, he has accepted fewer than 10 of them.
The Vatican announcement got here a day after an appeals courtroom in Chile allowed prosecutors to proceed investigating Cardinal Ezzati for an alleged cover-up, rejecting his movement to dismiss the case and take away himself from the probe, Chilean media reported.
Chilean abuse survivors have lengthy accused Cardinal Ezzati and his predecessor in Santiago, Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, of defending predator clergymen and discrediting victims. In current weeks, Ezzati has been embroiled in a brand new scandal after a person sued him for allegedly overlaying up his rape contained in the cathedral.
The Chile scandal first erupted in 2009 when victims publicly accused one of many nation’s most distinguished preachers, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, of molesting them for years. Cardinal Errazuriz initially shelved an investigation, solely to have the Vatican finally convict Father Karadima in a church tribunal.
Amid the renewed eruption of the scandal final yr, Francis stiffened the penalty in opposition to Father Karadima and defrocked him.
Francis had sparked the disaster by strongly defending one in all Karadima’s protégés, Bishop Juan Barros, in opposition to accusations that he had witnessed Father Karadima’s abuse and ignored it. However after realizing that one thing was amiss, Francis ordered a Vatican investigation that uncovered many years of abuse and cover-ups by the Chilean church management, Barros and Ezzati included.
One in every of Father Karadima’s victims and Cardinal Ezzati’s harshest critic, Juan Carlos Cruz, welcomed Aos’ appointment, tweeting that “something is best than Ezzati and his band.”
Pollsters have cited the Father Karadima scandal because the tipping level within the Chilean church’s progressive lack of credibility amongst extraordinary Chileans.
Cardinal Ezzati has denied overlaying up any instances however has acknowledged the ache of victims and vowed to advertise transparency.