I have no way of knowing whether the highly specific and alarming accusations against recently appointed Juan Barros Bishop of Osorno, in Chile, are true. But I can say with certainty that his appointment over the objections of so many is an unforced error. This appointment sends the message that concerns over abuse are secondary at best.

And now the Vatican is doubling down, backing the appointment.

The Vatican has said that it is confident the correct decision has been made in appointing Juan Barros Bishop of Osorno, in Chile.

A statement on the controversial Chilean bishop was released by the Vatican earlier today. “The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment,” it said.

Even Pope Francis’ own Child Protection Commission thinks this is the wrong thing.

Commission member and abuse survivor Marie Collins said she could not understand how Pope Francis could have appointed Bishop Barros given the concerns about his connection to Fr Karadima.
“It goes completely against what [Francis] has said in the past about those who protect abusers. The voice of the survivors is being ignored,” she said.