Chilean bishops meet Francis year after disastrous pope trip

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A delegation of Chilean bishops has met with Pope Francis a year after he threw his papacy into turmoil by defending a Chilean bishop accused of covering for a notorious sexual predator.

The five-member permanent committee of the Chilean bishops’ conference requested Monday’s meeting to brief Francis on its efforts to address a clergy sex abuse crisis in the South American country.

The bishops said they also wanted to chart a future course.

The pope’s January 2018 trip to Chile fueled a crisis of confidence in Chilean Church and Vatican hierarchy. Francis eventually said he was wrong about the accused bishop, Juan Barros.

But he blamed the Chilean hierarchy for decades of sex abuse and cover-up and pressured every active bishop to offer to resign.

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