Pope Francis meets the Roman curia at the Vatican, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
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During a recent trip to Chile, Francis repeatedly called accusations against Barros by Cruz and other victims slander and said he was certain of Barros' innocence."It should be a priority, and not a false 'zero tolerance,'" he told The Associated Press, echoing Francis' frequent insistence that he has "zero tolerance" for abuse.After his abuse comments sparked outrage, Francis was forced to do an about-face and send in a Vatican investigator to look into accusations against Barros, a protege of Chile's most notorious predator priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.Barros has denied witnessing any abuse or covering it up.The AP, however, reported that Francis had received an eight-page letter from Cruz in April 2015 detailing his abuse and how Barros witnessed it and ignored it.
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