This photo shows a scanned copy of a confidential Jan. 31, 2015 letter from Pope Francis obtained by The Associated Press, with details of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering to deal with prelates connected to Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest, Rev. Fernando Karadima. (AP Photo)
English Translation follows.
The Vatican, January 31, 2015
To the Bishops of the Permanent Committee of the Chilean Bishops Council
I received your email of Jan. 23. Many thanks for openly expressing your concerns at this time regarding the appointment of Mons. Juan Barros Madrid. I understand what you are saying and I am aware that the Church in Chile is in a difficult situation due to all the trials it has had to undergo. I am sending not only my brotherly understanding and my brotherly closeness, but also my prayers.
I well remember your visit in February of last year and all the different proposals, which I thought were prudent and constructive.
However, a serious problem came up at the end of the year. The Nuncio asked Mons. Barros to resign and encouraged him to take a sabbatical, (for perhaps a year), before assuming any other responsibilities as a Bishop. And he told him the same course of action would be taken with Bishops of Talca and Linares, but that nothing should be said to them. Mons. Barros wrote a resignation letter in which he mentioned the Nuncio’s comment.
As you can comprehend, the Nuncio’s comment complicated and blocked any eventual path to offering a year’s sabbatical. We spoke about this issue with Cardinal Ouellet and I know he talked about it with the Nuncio.
At this time, on express orders from the Congregation of Bishops, Mons. Barros is performing a month of spiritual retreat in Spain. I do not know if he will stop by Rome when he is finished, but I will advise Cardinal Ouellet about this and your suggestions.
I thank you once again for your openness and frankness in expressing your views: that is th