Chilean court awards thousands to paedophile priest’s victims

Chilean court awards thousands to paedophile priest’s victims March 29, 2019
Image via YouTube

THREE men who fell prey to Rev Fernando Karadima, above, Chile’s most notorious paedophile priest, are to receive around $150,000 each from the Catholic Church.

An appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the pay-out must be made to the victims – Juan Carlos Cruz, Jose Andres Murillo and James Hamilton – for the “moral damage” done to them by Karadima.

In February 2011 the Vatican found Karadima guilty of sexually abusing minors and psychological abuse. It forced him into retirement, relocated him away from contact with former parishioners and followers, and denied him the right to function as a priest for the rest of his life.

The ruling, according to this report, could open the way for hundreds of others to seek compensation from the Chilean Catholic Church for sexual abuse or cover-ups.

Image via YouTube

Reading from a joint statement by the three victims, Hamilton, above, said:

Today, the Chilean state puts on the record that all institutions are guarantors and should protect the rights of its citizens. And that no one, however powerful they might be, can abuse and cover-up sexual abuses with impunity.

He said the ruling is important:

Not only for us in particular, but for the hundreds or thousands of victims of abuse committed by priests and religious members who have suffered the lack of justice, re-victimization, abandonment, complete loneliness, and betrayal to their original commitment of care and accompaniment.

The office of the Santiago Archbishopric said in a statement that it would not appeal the ruling and that it was in “consent” with the court’s decision, hoping:

It will contribute to the process of reparation of the pain suffered by Fernando Karadima’s victims.

The ruling said that church officials had harmed victims by dismissing their complaints of abuse rather than investigating them.

During a 2018 trip to Chile, the Pope initially dismissed allegations that a bishop had covered up Karadima’s crimes, but he later acknowledged “grave errors in judgment” and asked all active Chilean bishops to offer their resignations.

Chilean abuse survivors had long accused Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati and his predecessor in the Chilean capital, Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, of protecting predator priests and discrediting victims.

The ruling on Wednesday named them both. The Pope removed Errazuriz last year from his informal cabinet and he replaced Ezzati last Saturday.

Part of the evidence that led to the ruling included a 2009 letter from Errazuriz to the apostolic nunciature that showed that he was aware of the abuse.

The scandal first erupted in 2009 when victims publicly accused Karadima of molesting them for years. Errazuriz initially shelved an investigation.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Broga

    Somewhere in UK law it says, “the welfare of the child is paramount.” When you consider FGM and paedophilia by pillars of society you have to wonder just how paramount it is.

    Congratulations Chile and to James Hamilton and the other victims.

    The UK is a bit to busy with Brexit to deal with the paramount issue.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    bucket /

  • Brian Curtis

    Missing the part where it says Karadima was actually sent to prison for, y’know, molesting children.

  • Jim Jones

    I just remember that the Catholic Church, moral arbiter of all things, can’t protect its altar boys from its priests.

    All you need to know.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    So today’s headline is “Water Still Wet”, then.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    The Pope initially dismissed allegations that a bishop had covered up Karadima’s crimes, but he later acknowledged “shock and outrage that they had the audacity to get caught committing a personal foul,” and promised that the players would be “benched for the remainder of the season, with ten additional laps around Purgatory for misusing the team letterhead to admit guilt.”

  • Vanity Unfair

    Probably: Children Act 1989 c41 s1
    (1)When a court determines any question with respect to—
    (a)the upbringing of a child; or
    (b)the administration of a child’s property or the application of any income arising from it,
    the child’s welfare shall be the court’s paramount consideration.

  • Broga

    That is it and it has been repeated from earlier legislation. Of course, what is “paramount” is open to debate -a parents opinion will be different from a lawyers or social workers – but it provides a useful steer for that consideration.