Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Chile said Pope Benedict is suffering and praying for the Church in the country, which is facing a new case of sexual abuse by now retired Bishop Marcos Ordenes of Iquique.
“The news of what has happened in Chile has profoundly touched especially the bishops of Latin America, who follow more closely the life of the Church in Chile, and naturally the sentiments are the same as those the Pope expressed to me yesterday,” Archbishop Ezzati told Church news site Noticias.iglesias.cl Oct. 11.
Archbishop Ezzati, who serves as president of the Chilean bishops' conference, traveled to the Vatican for the opening of the Year of Faith which marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
“Yesterday, when meeting with him, the first thing he said was: 'I am suffering and praying with the Church in Chile,'” the archbishop said.
“In other words, the Pope is fully aware of what we are experiencing and he encourages us, he encouraged me as well, to look with confidence to the future, because the Church belongs to Jesus Christ.”
“We men can fail, but the one who never fails is Him, and He is the way that leads us to the Father,” he added.
On Oct. 9, Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Bishop Ordenes, who has been under investigation by the Vatican since April for alleged sexual abuse.
The Holy See's Press Office said the bishop resigned in conformity with a specific code in canon law, which allows for resignation “because of ill health or some other grave cause.”
The Diocese of Iquique announced that same day that the 47-year-old bishop's kidney ailment had taken a turn for the worse and that doctors prescribed a period of rest. After spending a number of days in Peru, Bishop Ordenes is now back in Chile.