Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Chilean Church apologizes to nun who reported sexual abuse

Por Jade

The Chilean church asked on Tuesday forgiveness to a nun who denounced sexual and psychological abuse, during her participation in the Congregation of Sisters of the Good Samaritan, for not being "up to the task" and instructed a canonical investigation. The heartbreaking story of Consuelo Gómez, which includes sexual abuse in Spain, adds to the wave of accusations that this year put the Chilean clergy in the eye of the storm, forcing Pope Francis to meet with all the local bishops in the Vatican and demand a deep restructuring. "We apologize to Consuelo Gómez Pinto, our sister in Christ, we ask for it with humility and knowing that this request alone does not repair the damage caused," said a statement that was uploaded to the website of the Episcopal Conference.

The congregation acknowledged that they "knew the serious facts" denounced by Gómez, adding that the measures they took and the attitude they had then "did not measure up" to their mission. The knowledge of this fact generated the reaction of thousands of people who asked through social networks to clarify the situation of Gómez Pinto, at the same time that the protests multiplied against a Chilean church questioned in recent years. The Sisters asked "forgiveness" to the former nun who entered the congregation at age 18 and after a trip that included stays in Spain and Mexico left the sisters in 2017. Consuelo Gómez said she was in that congregation, based in the Chilean region of Maule, between 1998 and 2017. She assured Emol that in 2000 she was transferred to Spain, where she was sexually abused by a nun "who was also Chilean" and superior to her, "several times over and over again. And they all knew and they silenced me, they made me feel that I was guilty of everything, but now I understood that this is a story that I lived, that is mine, and that I am not the only one," she said for the first time to a media.

She said that she was still a novice and that she was about 20 years old. She declared that the first time it happened was when the religious abused her in the room they shared, after she expressed her anguish for what she was living and began to cry, she was disgusted. "I felt that it took away my dignity," she recalled, noting that afterwards the events were repeated. "When I went to the bathroom, she did it too, and she closed it with keys so she could grope me in. Physically and psychologically she forced me to do things that I did not want," she added. In 2013 she was transferred to the Chilean nunciature, where she received psychiatric treatment for severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She also related her experience to a nuncio, without getting answers. After the story was made public, the congregation reacted with the request for forgiveness and announced that it will initiate a canonical investigation. The former religious has the support of the Foundation for Trust, founded by victims of the priest Fernando Karadima, condemned by the Vatican for abuses committed in the 80s and 90s in Chile.

Francisco admitted having incurred "serious misjudgment" in cases of abuse in the country and recriminated the bishops for the handling of complaints, leading to the resignation of the leaders, who remain in office pending the final decision of the Pope. "Everything that can be done against the bishops is little, I would put them in jail, they are all a bunch of liars, scoundrels and hypocrites," said the former nun. The case of Gómez is not the first known of sexual abuse by members of the Chilean church. In fact it is added to the sexual abuse committed by priests and the impunity in which they were held for decades and have dragged the Chilean Catholic Church to the worst crisis in its history, evidenced by the massive resignation of the members of the Episcopal Conference. At the moment the church in that country is suffering a crisis after the resignation of 34 bishops after a meeting with the pope. The supreme pontiff handed it a document reserved for the religious, in which he addresses with harsh words for the cover-up of the sexual abuse of Fernando Karadima. This bishop was condemned by the Vatican in 2011 for sexually abusing children under 12 years of age, between 1981 and 1995, to whom he threatened to tell the things they told him in the confession.