Santiago priests stand up against abuse during Sunday mass

SANTIAGO – At least 70 priests from Santiago have signed a letter, read during masses on Sunday. The action is a response to the latest sexual abuse case involving Tito Rivera, who allegedly drugged and raped a man in the Santiago cathedral. Chilean bishops did not sign the letter.

Several masses held at churches in Santiago yesterday started the same way, with priests reading out a letter. The letter, signed by 70 Chilean priests, is a response to the sexual abuse scandal that is choking the Catholic Church in Chile.

The latest chapter in this scandal is the case of priest Tito Rivera, who was denounced for allegedly raping at least one man in a bedroom in the Santiago cathedral. Among the ones named in the case is Ricardo Ezzati, archbishop of Santiago, and accused of covering up various abuse cases in the country.

Rape in the cathedral: another sexual abuse case in Chile

“We hope all crimes will be punished”

The case made thep riests sign the letter, in which they firmly reject the abuse in their Church. According to daily La Tercera, in the letter the priests state: “we are ashamed that brother priests, in whom we had placed our trust, have committed these crimes. We are disappointed to see how they degrade the sacrament of the priestly order and banalize other sacraments, such as confession and marriage.

“We hope all crimes will be punished as corresponds, and that the most rigorous sanctions will be applied”, the letter continues. “It is time for purification, to make the Church less powerful in the eyes of the world, but closer to God”.

The letter concluded by stating that the priests will work closer “on the prevention of abuse and be more attentive on signs that indicate abuse”.

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