By Antonio De la Jara
SANTIAGO (Reuters) – A group of people who say they were sexually abused by members of the Marist Brothers congregation in Santiago asked on Thursday that their cases be considered by Vatican representatives who are in Chile to investigate other abuse claims.
The group’s spokesman, Isaac Givovich, has requested a meeting with Archbishop Charles Scicluna, a Vatican envoy who traveled to Santiago to meet with witnesses accusing a bishop of covering up the sexual abuse of minors by a priest.
Former members of the Alonso de Ercilla Institute denounced the alleged abuse at the hands of the Marists in a recent canonical investigation. “Vatican itself must take the situation into its hands,” Givovich told reporters.
Givovich said in January that when he was a high school student in the 1970s and ’80s, Marist brother Adolfo Fuentes continually called him out of class to abuse him in his office.
He said he will join other former students in court in the coming weeks to initiate legal action, while looking to Pope Francis and the Vatican to assume a key role beyond the local canonical investigation.
Givovich said he hoped Scicluna could make time while he is in Santiago to hear testimony in his case.
Scicluna, the Vatican’s most experienced sex abuse investigator, arrived in Santiago on Monday but was admitted to a hospital on Wednesday for emergency gallbladder surgery. He is expected to recover in the coming days.
(Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Bill Trott)