The combined scandal created a crisis in confidence in the U.S. and Vatican hierarchy. (Filippo Monteforte/Pool Photo via AP)
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It has been a wretched year for Pope Francis, whose blind spot on clergy sex abuse conspired with events beyond his control to threaten his legacy and throw the Catholic hierarchy into a credibility crisis not seen in modern times.Chilean opposition to Francis had actually begun three years prior, when the Argentine-born pope appointed Juan Barros as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno.Francis in 2013 had named Errazuriz to his inner circle, a formal parallel Cabinet of nine cardinals who meet every three months at the Vatican.He accused the Chilean leadership of creating a "culture of cover-up" and secured the resignations of every active bishop there, Barros included. He vowed that the Catholic Church would "never again" hide abuse, and earlier this month the Vatican announced Francis had fired Errazuriz from the cabinet.Most of the priests were dead, and the crimes far predated Francis' papacy.
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