12 December 2018

2 Chilean bishops defrocked over sex abuse of minors

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Pope Francis on Saturday expelled from the priesthood two Chilean bishops over the sexual abuse of minors, said the Vatican.

On its website, the Vatican Press Office said that Francisco Jose Cox Huneeus and Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez had been defrocked by the Holy See for sexually abusing minors.

Huneeus was an archbishop emeritus of La Serena, whilst Fernandez was a bishop emeritus of Iquique, both in Chile.

"The decision, taken by the Pope last Thursday, October 11, 2018, may not be appealed," it stated.

As part of an investigation, the Catholic church's headquarters in the capital Santiago was raided this August.

Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago, was called to testify about sexual abuse claims.

In late July, Chile started to investigate 158 church staff, including clergymen, as part of sexual abuse allegations.

In a report prepared during the investigation, 266 people -- including 178 minors -- were said to have faced sexual abuse in cases dating as far back as 1960.

2018.10.13 / 23:19
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