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Pope Francis at a general audience last month (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has sent a letter to the president of Bolivia expressing “feelings of shame and dismay” and a firm promise to work with the government of the South American country to end clerical sexual abuse of minors. Source: CNA.

The letter, released on Friday, according to the Associated Press, but signed on May 31 and addressed to Bolivian President Luis Arce, is a response to another letter sent to the Pontiff on May 22 by the Mr Arce.

The Pope’s letter was made public on May 15 on the official Twitter account of the Bolivian president.

“In the face of the tangle of evil caused by those who, betraying their mission as priests, pastors, and educators — and who, as you express — committed ‘crimes that harm boys and girls for life, and that also harm the Church,’ I express my sorrow and my feelings of shame and dismay,” wrote Pope Francis.

In April 2023, a scandal rocked the Church in Bolivia when a report in the Spanish newspaper El País exposed the late Jesuit Alfonso Pedrajas Moreno for having sexually abused as many as 85 minors during his ministry. This revelation led to reports of more cases of abuse committed by Jesuits and other religious congregations.

Pope Francis also expressed to President Arce his “firm desire to respond with the full cooperation of the Church to work alongside the government of your country”.

For his part, President Arce thanked the Pope on Twitter for his response, “in which he shares our great concern, outrage, and condemnation of the cases of pedophilia” in the country.


Pope Francis expresses ‘shame and dismay’ over sexual abuse of minors in Bolivia (By Ary Waldir Ramos Díaz, ACI Prensa via CNA)