SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The Vatican was so concerned about fallout from Chile's most notorious pedophile priest that it planned to ask three Chilean bishops accused of knowing about his crimes to resign and take a year's sabbatical, according to a confidential 2015 letter from Pope Francis obtained by The Associated Press.
The Jan. 31, 2015, letter details the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Vatican and Chile's bishops to deal with the prelates connected to the disgraced Rev. Fernando Karadima. And it reveals the bishops' concern about Francis naming a Karadima protege, Bishop Juan Barros, to the helm of the diocese of Osorno — an appointment that roiled the diocese, with hundreds staging protests against him.
Those protests are expected to greet Francis next week when he makes his first visit to Chile as pope.