Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean man who was sexually abused by Reverend Fernando Karadima when he was young, is also pointing his finger at Bishop Juan Barros. Cruz has revealed he wrote a letter alleging a cover-up to the Pope after Francis denied receiving evidence of Barros’ wrongdoings.
Juan Carlos Cruz wrote a letter to Pope Francis in 2015 about the sexual abuse he went through in the 1980s. The letter has become a beacon to those who have been victimized by the clergy, but Pope Francis had denied seeing any evidence of Juan Barros witnessing Fernando Karadima’s abuses.
Pope Francis previously defended Barros during a trip to Chile, saying, “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will speak. There is not a single piece of proof against him. Everything is slander. Is this clear.
“No one has come forward, they haven’t provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague, it’s something that can’t be accepted.”
Cruz, who now lives in Philadelphia, wrote a book titled El Fin De La Inocencia, which translates to The End of Innocence. In it, he details the sexual abuse he endured as a teenager.
Cruz was abused when he sought out emotional support from Karadima at the El Bosque Church after his father had died.
What Was in Juan Carlos Cruz’s Letter?
According to Juan Carlos Cruz and a former member of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cruz’s letter was hand-delivered to Pope Francis in 2015 by one of his top advisers. What’s now up for debate is whether Pope Francis actually read the letter alleging that Barros saw Karadima abusing minors.
Furthermore, back in 2010, Cruz, along with Jose Andres Murillo and James Hamilton, came forward with shocking details about their abuse in the Chilean church.
Chilean prosecutors opened a case against Karadima, but it was eventually shut down due to lack of proof.
Cruz brought up the issue again several years later with his letter, which asked the Pope to help him and other abuse victims get justice.
The letter, dated March 3, 2015 and written in Spanish, broke down in graphic detail the sexual abuse Cruz endured. It also accused Barros of looking the other way and “doing all the dirty work of Fernando Karadima.”
Barros has denied knowing about Karadima’s crimes.
Cruz wrote, “Holy Father, I decided to write this letter to you because I’m tired of fighting, crying, and suffering.
“Our story is well-known and there’s no point reminding you of it, except to tell you of the horror of having experienced this abuse and how I wanted to kill myself.
“Holy Father, Juan Barros says he saw nothing and yet, there are dozens of us who can testify to the fact that not only was he present when Karadima abused us, but that he, too, kissed Karadima and they touched each other.”
Cruz also attached another letter written by him to Archbishop Ivo Scapolo in Chile, which addressed Barros’s alleged silence and complicity.
Pope Francis has since announced that the Vatican is sending its top expert on sexual abuse, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, to Chile to investigate the allegations against Barros.
The Vatican removed Karadima from active ministry in 2011 after finding him guilty of sexually abusing children.