CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 13 October 2018

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Pope expels Chilean priest guilty of sex abuse

VATICAN (CNS): Cristian Precht, once hailed as a champion of human rights in Chile, was expelled from the priesthood by Pope Francis after being found guilty of sexual abuse. The Archdiocese of Santiago announced his dismissal from the clerical state on September 15 with “no possibility of appeal.”
 
The decree, sent by Luis Cardinal Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, confirmed “the dispensation from all obligations united to the sacred ordination of Father Cristian Precht Banados.”
 
Precht was the first vicar of the Archdiocese of Santiago’s Vicariate for Solidarity, an office created by Blessed Paul VI in 1976 to aid victims of human rights abuses during the 1973 to 1990 dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.
 
The archdiocese investigations in 2011 into allegations of sexual abuse of minors and adults made against Precht. A year later, he was removed from public ministry for five years after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found the allegations “credible.”
 
The announcement comes as Chilean prosecutors continue a nationwide investigation into alleged cover-ups of sexual abuses by clergy, including Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago and his predecessor, Francisco Javier Cardinal Errazuriz Ossa.

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