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Pope Says He Made 'Grave Mistakes' In Handling Sex Abuse Allegations

Pope Francis long defended Bishop Juan Barros, who was accused of helping to cover up sexual abuse by a priest.
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Pope Says He Made 'Grave Mistakes' In Handling Sex Abuse Allegations

Pope Francis penned a letter to Chilean bishops admitting he made serious errors in the handling of sexual abuse cases in the country.

The pontiff has faced criticism for his apparent role in keeping Bishop Juan Barros in the church. Barros stands accused of helping to cover up decades of sexual abuse of children by a priest, Rev. Fernando Karadima. Francis has defended Barros in the past and even said abuse victims were slandering the bishop

The pope called a meeting with Chile's 32 bishops at the Vatican in May to discuss sex abuse in the church.

The pope's letter also invites some of the victims and their representatives to Rome to personally apologize.