Chile's cardinal urges forgiveness for torturers
Chile's new cardinal, Archbishop Francisco Javier Errázuriz of Santiago, has courted controversy by suggesting it would be better for Chile if there were fewer new legal cases brought against agents of the former military regime of General Augusto Pinochet.
The Tablet reports that he said he had in mind especially those cases alleging torture.
The country would progress more quickly towards reconciliation if people attempted to forgive before having immediate recourse to the courts, Cardinal Errázuriz said.
"Excessive justice can become an injustice", he added.
The Church would not be asking for legal investigations into cases of torture carried out by military officials on a number of Catholic priests.
"Personally, I decided very early on, that in the case of a priest that was tortured or another who was killed, I would not bring a case", he said. "The conscience should be judge enough, and we should let the desire for peace dominate."
The cardinal's position is in line with that of Chile's socialist government, whose interior minister, José Miguel Insulza, recently asked Chileans to consider carefully before beginning legal proceedings.