An investigator appointed by Pope Francis to look into abuse cover-up claims against Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, is expected to give his verdict to the Pope in the coming days.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta was scheduled to finish his fact-finding trip to Chile on Wednesday after being forced to pause interviews with survivors in order to undergo emergency gallbladder surgery.

The archbishop said he had flown to Chile despite feeling unwell but went to the hospital for a check-up after his condition worsened.

Interviews with abuse survivors and with Bishop Barros himself were conducted by Fr Jordi Bertomeu Farnos, a Spanish official of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Bishop Barros has been accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring the abuse of young parishioners by his mentor, Fr Fernando Karadima, who was removed from ministry and sentenced to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” in 2010.

The controversy over his appointment as Bishop of Osorno was reignited during Pope Francis’s trip to Chile when the Pontiff said the accusations against Bishop Barros were “calumny” and that he had not received any evidence against him.

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