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The Roman Catholic Church's chief adviser on clerical sexual abuse broke ranks with Pope Francis on Saturday after the pontiff accused Chilean abuse victims of slander.
In a rare public rebuke, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston said Pope Francis's comments during a visit to Chile were "a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator."
O'Malley - Damage - Control - Reactions - Chile
O'Malley, appearing to engage in damage control after strong reactions in Chile, said Pope Francis "fully recognizes the egregious failures of the church and its clergy who abused children and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones."
Pope - Francis - Thursday - Abuse - Accusations
Pope Francis on Thursday dismissed abuse accusations against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros in response to a reporter's question, saying: "There is not a single piece of evidence against him. It is all slander. Is that clear?"
Barros allegedly protected his former mentor, the Reverend Fernando Karadima, who stood down after an internal Vatican investigation found him guilty in 2011 of abusing teenage boys. Barros denied any knowledge of Karadima's actions.
Pope - Comments
The Pope's comments — made as he was...
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