Vatican City - Several members of Pope Francis' sex abuse advisory board are expressing concern and incredulity over his decision to appoint a Chilean bishop to a diocese despite allegations that he covered up for Chile's most notorious paedophile.
In interviews and emails with The Associated Press, the experts have questioned Francis' pledge to hold bishops accountable and keep children safe, given the record of Bishop Juan Barros in the case of the Rev. Fernando Karadima.
The five commission members spoke to the AP in their personal and professional capacity and stressed that they were not speaking on behalf of the commission, which Francis formed in late 2013 and named Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley to head.
“I am very worried,” said commission member Dr. Catherine Bonnet, a French child psychiatrist and author on child sex abuse. “Although the commission members cannot intervene with individual cases, I would like to meet with Cardinal O'Malley and other members of the commission to discuss a way to pass over our concerns to Pope Françis.”
Another commission member, Marie Collins, herself a survivor of abuse, said she couldn't understand how Barros could have been appointed given the concerns about his behaviour.