SANTIAGO: Chilean prosecutors said on Tuesday they questioned the Vatican’s top sex abuse investigator as he prepared to fly out of the country following a fact-finding and reconciliation mission ordered by the Pope.

Raúl Guzmán, a prosecutor based in the capital Santiago, said he “interrogated” Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta in the police station at Santiago airport in relation to an abuse case involving 25 Marist brothers and 30 alleged victims.

“We arranged an interview with Charles Scicluna that took place in the offices of the investigative police in the airport before his flight,” he told journalists.

At a press conference hours earlier, Scicluna said the Vatican was committed to working with the Chilean civil authorities to get justice for the victims.

Asked whether he would make public a 2,300-page report he had produced following an earlier visit to Chile in February, Scicluna said the decision was up to Pope Francis, adding that the Church’s “freedom and autonomy” should be respected.

“Every demand and petition must be sent to him who as the leader of the church … has jurisdiction,” he told reporters.

The latest events come as the Church and the state address a growing abuse and cover-up scandal that has damaged the reputation of the Andean country’s most popular religion.

Last month, the pope accused the Chilean church of “grave negligence” in handling previous claims that children had been abused and that evidence of sex crimes had been covered up. He also accepted the resignations of three bishops.

Scicluna said that during his second visit to Chile, which began last week, he conducted “hundreds” more interviews, including with abuse victims who had come forward in recent weeks. He announced the establishment of a “listening service” for church officials to hear the claims of many more who wrote to him.

“The invitation to recognise and admit the full truth, with all of its…

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