Press Statement on the Blocking of Appointment of a Chilean abuse survivor to Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

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‘We are Church Ireland’ is calling on the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate the well founded allegations that two Chilean Cardinals successfully blocked the nomination by Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins of Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean abuse survivor , to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Published emails between the present Archbishop of Santiago Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello and his predecessor Cardinal Francisco Errazuriz Ossa show that they successfully lobbied the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith to prevent Juan Carlos Cruz from becoming a member of the Commission.

The background to this issue is complex and involves leading Chilean Church figures. It began when a charismatic and well known priest , Father Fernando Karadima, was accused by Juan Carlos Cruz and others of sexually abusing them. Incredibly Pope Francis named the above Cardinal Ossa , Karadima’s most powerful defender , as one of eight Cardinals advising him on Vatican reforms and named his successor Archbishop Ezzati Andrello as Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago, Chile. It was to this powerful Cardinal Ossa that the present Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago, Ezzati Andrello, appealed to block the nomination to the Commission for the protection of minors of one of Karadima ’s victims , Juan Carlos Cruz.

In an interview Marie Collins stated that the contents of the emails revealed the ‘real attitude’ of many Church Leaders towards clerical abuse survivors . "They are looked upon as the enemies of the Church out to damage the Church and efforts are made to silence them" she concluded.

"We believe that Pope Francis should set up a Vatican Inquiry into the Karadima affair and the subsequent blocking of Juan Carlos Cruz from membership of the Commission for the Protection of Minors be set up to establish the truth and vindicate the abuse survivors of Karadima." stated Brendan Butler, spokesperson of We Are Church Ireland.