Chilean church suspends 14 priests over child abuse

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Santiago, May 23 (IANS) The Chilean Catholic church has suspended 14 priests for allegedly being involved in child sex abuse.

The Diocese of Rancagua announced its decision in a statement on Tuesday after reports of a confidential 10-page document uncovering sexual abuse and improper conduct by a group of prelates from Rancagua were leaked on May 18, Efe news reported.

“Fourteen priests have been restricted from their priestly Ministry. This means that it has been revealed, mainly by what the media exposed, that these priests have committed actions that can constitute crimes in both the civil and canonical spheres,” Father Marcelo Lorca said in a statement.

It was also pointed out that “both pastoral and judicial measures” have been adopted.

However, Father Lorca warned that at the moment there is no conclusive record that the actions of the suspended priests constitute crimes from the legal point of view.

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He explained that a complaint was made to the Santa Cruz’s Prosecutor’s Office.

“We urge those who have information about the incidents that are not consistent with fidelity to the priesthood to make them known to the respective authorities of the Church,” the statement read.

–IANS

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