Vatican: Chile bishops ignored abuse, treated victims badly

Vatican: Chile bishops ignored abuse, treated victims badly
Pope Francis gestures during a visit to the "Scholas Occurentes" Foundation in Rome, Italy, May 11, 2018. (Max Rossi/Pool Photo via AP)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is making it clear that Pope Francis has summoned Chile’s bishops to Rome because of their role in covering up sexual abuse by priests and their “grave omissions” in caring for victims.

In an exceedingly harsh statement Saturday, the Vatican said Francis wanted to discern responsibilities and map changes in the Chilean church to prevent these “devastating wounds” from repeating themselves.

Francis will meet with the bishops next week, his latest effort to make amends for having repeatedly defended a Chilean bishop accused of witnessing and ignoring abuse.

The meetings will take place in a side room off the Vatican’s audience hall, a rather impersonal venue considering they could have been held in the grand Apostolic Palace or the intimacy of the Santa Marta hotel where Francis lives.