Let me start out by saying that Pope Francis isn’t my favorite so anything I may say against him must be taken with a grain of salt.
That said a letter about sexual misconduct by now Bishop Juan Barros and “Rev” Fernando Kardima being hand delivered to the pontiff by Sean Cardinal O’Malley could have been misplaced. I was not there so can only speculate. I imagine that the pope’s secretary was with him. The letter could not have been read at that very second. It was probably handed over to the secretary who put it somewhere. Where? So it is feasible that Pope Francis never read it. It’s also feasible that the secretary read it then trashed it for his own reasons.
Now for the grain of salt… For the pontiff to actually lie about something that has been so devastating to the Universal Church does not bode well for him as a person, priest or pontiff. Because of the seriousness of the issue it is not akin to saying, “No, those pants don’t make you look fat.” when they actually do. Saying that there is no proof or complaints against Bishop Juan Barros when there actually is proof or a complaint is disingenuous, yes a lie. Of course it is not a lie if you never read or got the letter.
However this development does not in anyway excuse the pontiff’s remark in Chili about Bishop Barros and the calumny charge leveled at those abused. It was not a, “merciful”, remark by the pope so makes him seem like a phony and it further hurt victims and then further angered them.
How long has this priest sexual scandal been going on now? The Church can not make miss-step after miss-step and expect healing. All the talk in the world about immigration and climate change, (actually not even Catholic issues), will not hide the fact that some priests molested kids and the Universal Church is still making excuses, lying and dragging her feet instead of trying to rectify the pain that this has caused world wide.
So, what is the answer? To be better informed about this issue, to be genuinely sorry because words are cheap, to start making bishops accountable and to cease saying bonehead things regarding this issue.