Thursday , February 25 2021

"It has been a very tough year for all of us who are part of the Church"

Very hard. This was the last year of Cristián del Camp as a provincial of the Compañía de Jesús in Chile. The 48-year-old priest, who will leave office this year, has had to face a series of allegations of abuses against Chilean Jesuits. Only in 2018, they have started previous investigations, aimed at verifying the veracity of the allegations against Jaime Guzmán, Leonel Ibacache, Raúl González, Joan Pau Cárcamo and, recently known as Renato Poblete, former chaplain of the Home of Christ.

When did you know the facts? What actions were taken at that time?
I met the complaint on January 8. After the preliminary examination of the witness, I decided to open the previous investigation on the 12th of the same month and request a meeting with the complainant, which took place on the 17th. At this meeting we were able to find and listen, At the time of transmitting the decisions he had taken for the start of canonical research.

What was the level of proximity they had with the victim? What do you find with her?
Personally I did not know it until January 17th when we met. I know he shared with some Jesuits during his years of Theology study, and that he currently shares teaching assignments in the same faculty of the Catholic University where other Jesuits are also professors.

What are the steps to follow in the investigation? Have you ever been interviewed by Jesuits and ex-Jesuits who lived and were close to Renato Poblete during this period?
From the very day I opened the investigation, this has been borne by Waldo Bown lawyer, and it is he who will decide what interviews, testimonials and proceedings should be done. There is no established term for this investigation, but it will seek to carry out all the actions that contribute to what can be done in the most professional and rigorous way, and that the people who present testimonials or information feel welcomed and listened.

The reported events lasted for nine years. Do any of my fault what has happened? What happened because these facts are not reported in time? Could there be cloaking?
Determining this type of responsibility is part of the investigation. This is our commitment today, investigate closely.

Is there certainty that there are more cases against Renato Poblete?
Yes, as we reported last Sunday, after our first statement we received other complaints and all of them will be part of the investigation that is being carried out.

Was there any attempt – by lay people or priests – to promote a previous process in the face of a beatification of Renato Poblete?
No, I honestly did not know about such an initiative.

Have the antecedents of the investigation been sent to the general superior of the Company of Jesus?
The general superior is aware of the steps we have given. I have asked you to keep it informed about the development of this case.

What measures have you taken to support the victim? Is there any kind of repair?
Just a few days ago we could have a first meeting and we will always be open to listening. We will do everything we can to make you feel welcome and count on our support in this way.

Will this issue be addressed at the February province meeting? What other issues will be dealt with in this instance?
Without a doubt, we will discuss this issue and what was the year 2018 for the Company and the Church. It has been a very hard year for all of us who are part of the Church, starting with the same victims. In addition, we will have a preliminary conversation to initiate the election process of the new provincial, since this year the period of six years is fulfilled.

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