Rape in the cathedral: another sexual abuse case in Chile

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SANTIAGO – A new chapter in the widespread sexual abuse scandal in the Chilean Catholic Church has brought cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, archbishop of Santiago, under pressure. The case, dubbed “Rape in the Cathedral” by Chilean media, involves abuse by a priest and cover-up by Ezzati. Just recently, the cardinal visited a summit in the Vatican on sexual abuse.

The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Chile continues to make headlines in national media. An investigation from journalists from Radio Bio Bio brought some severe abuse to light, committed by priest Tito Rivera. Abuse that has been covered up by the archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, whose name appeared in various abuse cases. Ezzati has been summoned to court last week, although he tried to avoid getting notified for the case.

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Lost his life because of the abuse

The case started in 2015, when a 40-year-old Chilean man went to the cathedral in Santiago to seek help for his daughter, who was struggling with illness. Upon receiving the man, priest Tito Rivera allegedly drugged him in a bedroom in the back of the cathedral. This bedroom is the stage of several abuse complaints against Rivera – and Ezzati, according to the current case, was aware of this abuse.

According to Radio Bio Bio, the victim was kicked out of his house and ended up living on the streets, as his partner didn’t believe his accusations against Rivera. In the Catholic Church he was accused by priests of lying. His allegations also reached cardinal Ezzati, but his complaints didn’t lead to an investigation, although an investigator hired by the Church called the testimony “credible”. Recently, the victim went back to court after the Church didn’t respond to his mails, and filed a case against Rivera, Ezzati and the entire archbishopric of Santiago.

Ezzati is “moved” by victims, but doesn’t testify

For Ricardo Ezzati, the current case isn’t the first time the cardinal is summoned to testify. In various cases, among them the notorious Karadima-case, Ezzati has been summoned. In all cases, he has avoided appearing in court.

Earlier this year, Ezzati participated in a massive summit of bishops and sexual abuse victims in the Vatican to discuss with the Pope current scandals and a new approach of handling abuse. Upon his return to Chile, Ezzati called the testimonies of victims “moving”.

How moved he really is by these sexual abuse scandals, remains to be seen in the upcoming days.

Chilean Archbishop Ezzati remains silent over covering up sexual abuse

 

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