The Catholic Church in Chile, which is embroiled in a widespread sexual abuse crisis, faced more criticism this week after it published guidelines for priests’ behavior on the Santiago archdiocese’s website.
Critics slammed church officials for the obvious nature of the recommendations and for not getting to the root of the abuse crisis plaguing the church internationally.
The document suggested, for example, that priests should not “touch the genitals” of children or sleep with or beside them. It also said priests should not photograph minors while naked because such photos could be “misinterpreted.” Clergy should also avoid “giving massages to or kissing children, adolescents or vulnerable people on the mouth,” the guidelines said.
According to the Associated Press, the document did not explicitly mention sexual abuse, instead describing certain behavior as “painful acts” or “equivocal signs.”
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera will visit Rome this month, Voice of America reported, and plans to meet the pope at the Vatican. Pinera, a Catholic, has called the abuse “dark times.”
“The church knows more than anyone that it was wrong,” he said at a recent church service.