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Pope Francis under pressure after appointing bishop suspected of protecting a pedofile priest

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Pope Francis (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Pope Francis’s decision to appoint a Chilean bishop suspected of protecting a paedophile priest has alarmed the Vatican’s own child protection watchdog, its members told AFP.

Several members of the new commission set up by the pope to stamp out child abuse in the Catholic Church expressed their shock at the decision, with pressure building up for the decision to be overturned.

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Juan Barros, who took up his post as Bishop of Osorno last Saturday, has denied that he knew about the abuse committed by Fernando Karadima, once an influential figure within the Chilean church.

Commission member French child psychiatrist Catherine Bonnet told AFP Friday that speaking personally she was “worried” by the appointment.

“While the commission cannot intervene in individual cases, I want to meet Cardinal Sean O’Malley (the American president of the commission) and the other members to see how we can pass our anxieties on to Pope Francis,” she added.

Another source said that the pope may have been badly advised.

British commission member Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, told the US National Catholic Reporter that “one of two of us are suggesting we go to Rome to talk with the pope.”

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The pope had pledged to crack down hard on the culture of cover up within the Church, and had personally taken up the cases of abuse victims in Spain and Italy recently.


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2020 Election

Trump made an ‘implicit threat of violence’ when he refused to say he’d leave peacefully: CNN’s Berman

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CNN's John Berman on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of implicitly threatening the use of violence if he loses the 2020 presidential election.

While discussing Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the 2020 election, Berman said that this was the kind of thing he'd expect to hear from leaders in foreign countries without long traditions of upholding democracy.

"To be clear, the refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer in and of itself is an implicit threat of violence," he said.

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2020 Election

Here’s how Trump intends to create ‘chaos and deadlock’ to steal the election from voters

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The author of a new piece outlining how President Donald Trump could steal the election from voters explained just how that might happen.

The Atlantic's Barton Gellman revealed the Trump campaign is exploring a strategy to pressure Republican-led state legislatures to appoint electors, instead of letting voters choose, and he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" how that would work in practice.

"The only other time in history we had a debacle like this with possibility of the multiple competing slates of electors where two groups of people said, 'I'm the state elector for the state of Pennsylvania,' for example, it's supposed to go to Congress," Gellman said. "Congress is supposed to decide who are the legitimate electors, if any, from the state, and the problem is the electorate count act is one of the most garbled statutes ever passed by Congress, which is saying a lot."

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Botticelli painting expected to sell for record $80 million

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A painting by Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli could fetch over $80 million when it goes under the hammer in New York in January, Sotheby's said Thursday -- a record auction price for the artist.

"Young Man Holding a Roundel" has been billed by the auction house as one of the greatest paintings from the era still in private hands.

It is expected to smash the $10.4 million auction record set seven years ago for a painting by the Florence native.The subject of the enigmatic portrait is not known, but art historians believe it could be a depiction of a close friend of the Medici family, which ruled the Italian city during Botticelli's life.

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