Chilean church leaders to assist in bishop investigation

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The Bishops' Conference of Chile says it will help in the investigation of alleged abuse committed by Bishop Antonio Ordenes of Iquique, whose resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict Oct. 9.

“What we are experiencing is unsettling and disturbing,” the bishops said in a statement Tuesday. “Above all because of the mere possibility that people have been wounded by a minister of the Church.” 

“But this sorrow takes on a unique character because the accused is a bishop called to be a good shepherd and a servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the world.”

Bishop Ordenes has been under investigation by the Vatican since April over accusations of sexual abuse.

“We find the improper conduct that Bishop Ordenes has publicly acknowledged to be serious. We believe this is a time for reflection and full cooperation with the appropriate authorities,” the bishops noted.

They also expressed their confidence that the Holy See would bring the light of “truth and justice that right now we are unable to see. We invite everyone to calmly wait for clarification of the allegations.”

The bishops then called on Chileans to make Christ “the center of our lives and our actions...Only through Him will we give living witness to our mission: a Church that is humble and close to those who are poorest and most vulnerable.”

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