Despite denials, Pope received evidence against cleric accused of cover-up, sources say

Pope Francis sparked controversy by defending a bishop accused of witnessing a priest abuse teens.

Story highlights

  • Francis has denied seeing evidence that a bishop he promoted witnessed sexual abuse
  • But two people say he was handed a letter detailing exactly that

(CNN)It all comes down to one letter, and whether or not Pope Francis read it.

As recently as last month, the Pope had said he's seen no evidence that a Chilean cleric whom he later made a bishop had witnessed a priest abusing teenagers.
But Francis received a letter detailing exactly that in 2015, according to the author of the letter and a former member of the Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors. It was hand-delivered to him, the two people say, by one of his most trusted advisers, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston.
    A spokesman for O'Malley referred all questions to the Vatican, which declined to comment.
    The Pope's receipt of the letter wa