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    People walks past 'El Bosque' church, former parish of Vatican-convicted child abuser Karadima, in Santiago, Chile. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 February 2018

Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu declined to share details of the interview but told reporters the meeting was "cordial and friendly".

A Vatican investigator sent to Chile by Pope Francis to interview sex abuse victims met on Friday with Chilean Bishop Juan Barros about accusations that he covered-up sexual abuse of minors committed by a priest.

The investigator, Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu, declined to share details of the interview with Barros, but told reporters the meeting was "cordial and friendly".

Earlier in the day, the Vatican's lead investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, was released from a hospital in Santiago after undergoing emergency gallbladder surgery, and may conduct more interviews.

Scicluna has recovered well and will remain in the country to rest, Episcopal Conference spokesman Jaime Coiro said.

Scicluna's assistant, Bertomeu, was enlisted to replace him in scheduled interviews with sex abuse victims through Friday.

The investigators are in Chile to look into accusations that Barros hid information about the sexual abuse of minors by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima.

Scicluna, known for his role in the sexual abuse investigation that led to the removal of late Mexican priest Marcial Maciel in 2005, arrived in Santiago Monday.

Earlier this week he conducted interviews with several victims in Providencia, the wealthy Santiago neighborhood that is home to Karadima's former parish.

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