Chilean archbishops suspects in child abuse cases

This Deutsche Welle video says about itself:

Chilean police have arrested a prominent Catholic priest who is accused of raping seven children.

Chilean priest arrested over child abuse allegations | DW | 13.07.2018

Chilean priest Oscar Munoz Toledo, who was once the chancellor of Santiago’s archbishopric, was detained Thursday on charges that he sexually abused seven minors. It’s the latest in a series of pedophilia cases in which priests allegedly carried out abuse, ignored it or helped cover it up.

The case: In January, Munoz admitted to abusing a minor. The 56-year-old was initially investigated by the Chilean church, which then referred the case to the Vatican. His arrest came after prosecutors seized church case files on the scandal in June. Munoz is accused of the abuse and statutory rape of seven children. Prosecutor Emiliano Arias said the abuse took place from 2002 on in Santiago and the southern city of Rancagua. Authorities are investigating whether Munoz had accomplices.

Archbishop of Santiago Ricardo Ezzati, who himself has been accused of covering up crimes, said the church would cooperate “in everything that is required.” Referring to Munoz, he added that he felt “a great pain for him, for his family and for the victims.”

Munoz was vice-chancellor before being promoted to chancellor in the Santiago archdiocese in 2011. He is one of several senior priests connected to the widening abuse scandal that has battered the reputation of the Catholic Church in Chile.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Police raids at two archdioceses in Chile for suspicions of abuse

In the south of Chile there have been simultaneous police raids in the offices of two archbishops as part of the investigation of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in the country. In the cities Temuco and Villarrica, about 700 kilometers south of the capital Santiago, detectives questioned staff of the archbishops and confiscated documents.

Five priests are suspected of sexual abuse in the region. The investigation dates back to 2000. The authorities in Chile are engaged in a major investigation into abuse by Catholic clergy. Interest groups of victims say that this was widespread and that the church which is influential in Chile has done far too little itself against the perpetrators.

Serious negligence

Just today, on the day of the raids, the highest Catholic official in Chile was brought before the court. He is the former chancellor of the archbishop of Santiago, who was arrested yesterday. He is accused of abusing at least five children until last year. If he will be found guilty then he can get a prison term of between two and fifteen years.

The accusations of sexual abuse in Chile began after Pope Francis visited the country in January. Vatican clerics concluded after an investigation that the Chilean bishops can be blamed for serious negligence in their approach to the abuse scandal.

In May, Pope Francis ordered all over thirty Chilean bishops to come to Rome, where they collectively offered their resignation. The pope has accepted that from five of them.

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