>> A church sex abuse scandal has gripped Chile and contributed to a crumbling relationship with the Catholic church. I'm Cassandra Garrison for Reuters in the Providencia neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. Today this neighborhood is dotted with high rise apartments for families and young professionals, but it was once lined with the mansions of Santiago's wealthiest and most powerful families.
It's also home to El Bosque, the former parish of Father Fernando Karadima who was convicted of child sex abuse in a Vatican investigation in 2011. Several men have accused Bishop Juan Barros of covering up that abuse by his former mentor Karadima. Pope Francis initially defended Juan Barros, but after a backlash, decided to send a Vatican special envoy to investigate the claims here in Santiago.
El Bosque used to be packed for mass during the In the Karadima era. But the sex abuse, which was well known to people who lived in this neighborhood, and openly discussed, has taken a toll on the neighborhood and Chile as a whole. People in Chile are upset about how the Church has handled the sex abuse claims, and there are many cases here.
This scandal has further complicated an already deteriorating relationship between modern Chileans and the Catholic Church. A January poll by a Santiago-based thinktank showed the number of Chileans who call themselves Catholic fell to 45% last year from 74% in 1995. Chile also polls as having the least amount of trust in the Church and the lowest opinion of Pope Francis in Latin America.