The Vatican has publicly stated that the Rev. Fernando Karadima was a sexual abuser. In Chile he was a combination Maciel and Fulton Sheen. He apparently was an extraordinarily effective preacher and giver of retreats, although now some suspect he was not simply an abuser, but an atheist.
In such a dreadful situation it is hard to find any ray of light. But the spiritual maturity of some Catholics in Chile has been deeply edifying. I previously quoted Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim.
Here is what Joaquín Lavín, the Minister of Education and a supernumerary of Opus Dei said about the accusations:
Son lamentables, pero la fe es Jesucristo, no es en la persona de un sacerdote.
(they are lamentable, but the faith is in Jesus Christ, not in the person of a priest)
Lo lamentable de esto es que a veces muchos católicos se ven afectados en su fe. Pero la fe no es en los sacerdotes, es en Jesucristo y eso es lo importante. Cristo no nos desilusiona nunca.
(It is lamentable that at times Catholics are affected in their faith. But the faith is not in the priests, but in Jesus Christ and that is what is important. Christ will never disappoint).
The Jesuit Fernando Montes, rector of the University Albert Hurtado called Karadima a “dictator” and said that this condition “favored an environment for committing the abuses.” Montes explained
There is in the church a danger of sacralization, that the person in authority is not just an authority, but is transformed into a sacred being, who cannot be touched, who cannot be criticized, and in this sense there can be an enormous oppotunity to redefine the way of exercising authority.
Montes said that this
“divinization can produce a dictator. Spiritual direction, instead of a respectful accompanying to say “that you are sad and I will help you,” is converted into “I tell the other person what he has to do.” This appears to be aberrant because it produces a leadership with dependency, in circumstances in which the Gospel requires a leadership of service.”
The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.