NPR

After Defending Controversial Bishop, Pope To Send Sex Abuse Investigator To Chile

Pope Francis questioned survivors' accounts and defended a Chilean bishop accused of a coverup. But the Vatican announced Tuesday that a top envoy will now look into survivors' claims.
Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna, shown here in 2012, will travel to Chile to look into survivors' claims. He is the Catholic Church's most respected expert on sex crimes. Source: ANDREAS SOLARO

When Pope Francis visited Chile earlier this month, he lashed out at victims of sexual abuse and accused them of "calumny" regarding a bishop who is suspected of covering up abuse they endured by a pedophile priest.

The pope said there was "not a shred of evidence" against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros. "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros," he said, "I'll speak."

Now the pope is sending a top envoy on a mission to Chile to look into survivors' claims.

A Vatican statement said Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Church's most

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