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Holy See Press Office Communiqué, 12.05.2018

Pope Francis will meet the bishops of Chile from 15 to 17 May in the study of the Paul VI Hall.

This meeting follows the previous convocation of the Chilean episcopate on 8 April. The Holy Father, in view of the circumstances and the extraordinary challenges posed by the power and knowledge and of the sexual abuses which have taken place in Chile in recent decades, considers it necessary to examine in depth the causes and consequences, as well as the mechanisms that have led in some cases to concealment and serious omissions in relation to the victims.

During the meetings, Pope Francis wishes to share his personal conclusions following the recent special mission to Chile entrusted to H.E. Msgr. Charles Scicluna, archbishop of Malta, and to the Rev. Jordi Bertomeu, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and completed by the numerous testimonies, written and verbal, that the Holy Father has continued to receive in recent weeks.

During the meetings, in which 31 diocesan and auxiliary bishops, and 2 bishops emeritus will participate, the Holy Father will be accompanied by the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, His Eminence Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S.

The aim of this long “synodal” process is to discern together, in God’s presence, the responsibility of each and of all in these devastating wounds, as well as to study adequate and lasting changes to prevent a repetition of these always reprehensible acts.

It is fundamental to re-establish trust in the Church through good pastors who bear witness with their lives to having known the voice of the Good Shepherd and who are able to accompany the suffering of the victims and to work in a determined and tireless way in the prevention of abuses.

The Holy Father thanks his brother bishops for their willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit in a docile and humble way, and reiterates his request that the People of God in Chile continue in a state of prayer that all may convert.

Pope Francis is not expected to issue any statement during or after the meetings, which will take place in total confidentiality.