Saturday, 31 Oct 2015
LIMA, Peru (AP) — A secretive Roman Catholic society with chapters across South America and in the U.S. has revealed under pressure that a Vatican investigator is looking into allegations that its founder sexually molested young recruits.
The scandal at the Peru-based Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, or Sodalitium for Human Life, has close parallels to other recent cases of charismatic Catholic leaders in Latin America being accused of sex abuse — as well as the church dragging its feet on investigating claims and trying to keep scandals quiet.
This week, Sodalitium’s general secretary disclosed the Vatican investigation after two journalists published a book detailing the accusations against founder Luis Fernando Figari, 68.
Co-author Pedro Salinas, a former society member, has been publicly accusing Figari since 2010 of physical, psychological and sexual abuse. According to the book, three men lodged complaints the following year with a Peruvian church tribunal alleging Figari sexually abused them when they were minors.
There is no indication the tribunal did anything with the case, including notifying prosecutors. Nor is it known when the Vatican was advised.
Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, the conservative archbishop of Lima with jurisdiction over the tribunal, was quoted as telling the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio this week that case is “regrettable and painful” and claiming
“We have acted with absolute transparency and rapidity,” he said.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.