Remove Bishop Complicit in Sexual Abuse

Target: His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Roman Catholic Church

Goal: Remove Bishop Juan Barros and stay true to your “zero-tolerance” policy for sexual abuse.

In 2015, Pope Francis received a victim’s letter that detailed how a priest allegedly abused him and other clergy members denied and covered up the abuse. The letter’s author and Pope Francis’ own sex-abuse commission confirmed his receipt of the letter, despite the fact that Pope Francis has insisted that no victims have come forward regarding the particular priest in question. Pope Francis, who has been the head of the Roman Catholic Church for five years, has always said that he has a “zero-tolerance” policy for sex abuse and cover-ups. Recent news of the pope’s receipt of this letter could be the most serious crisis of his papacy so far.

In January, Pope Francis travelled to South America, where he was met by protestors who spoke out about his defense of Bishop Juan Barros. While Barros is not accused of sexually abusing anyone himself, serious accusations about his complicity have been made. Barros was a priest who was mentored by Reverend Fernando Karadima, who has been found guilty of sex abuse. During his time working with Karadima, Barros is said to have witnessed and ignored the abuse that was happening. Despite receiving the letter that detailed this abuse by Karadima and complicit cover-up by Barros two years ago, Pope Francis dismissed accusations against Barros as “slander.” When confronted by a reporter, Pope Francis said: “You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward.”

In the letter, the victim wrote, “Holy Father, I write you this letter because I’m tired of fighting, of crying and suffering. Our story is well known and there’s no need to repeat it, except to tell you of the horror of having lived this abuse and how I wanted to kill myself.” The letter goes on to describe the alleged inappropriate kissing and fondling that Karadima engaged in with Barros himself as well as teenagers in the church. The letter further states, “Juan Barros was a witness to all this innumerable times, not just with me but with others as well.” Barros denies witnessing abuse or covering it up. He still sits in a position of power in the church—one where he is supposed to be able to recognize inappropriate behavior and report it if necessary. Sign this petition to urge Pope Francis to stay true to his “zero-tolerance” policy for sex abuse and remove Juan Barros as a bishop.


Dear Pope Francis,

The Roman Catholic Church has faced many issues with sexual abuse. Now that you are the head of the church, you have stated that you have a “zero-tolerance” policy for sexual abuse. However, despite receiving a letter in 2015 that claimed that Juan Barros was complicit in the cover-up of Fernando Karadima’s abuse, you still allow Barros to serve as a bishop in the church. While Barros himself is not accused of any abuse, his alleged inability to recognize and report inappropriate behavior makes him unsuitable for his position as bishop. I urge you to stay true to your “zero-tolerance” policy and remove Barros.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Casa Rosada

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  1. masayuki tanaka says:

    This kind of priests deserve to be frozen in Judecca, because they are Judas!!

  2. Gen Agustsson says:

    stop supporting rape in churches.

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