Amid abuse allegations, Vatican names trustee to lead Sodalitium

Catholic News Service via The Pilot

January 10, 2017

By Cindy Wooden

Saying Pope Francis is following the situation with concern, the Vatican named a Colombian bishop to be the trustee of the scandal-plagued Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic movement based in Peru.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life appointed Bishop Noel Londono Buitrago of Jerico, Colombia, trustee of the group, the Vatican press office announced Jan. 10.

Pope Francis, the statement said, “has followed with concern all the information that for years has arrived at the congregation” about the movement founded by Luis Fernando Figari. In 2017, Sodalitium leaders released a report acknowledging that Figari sexually, physically and psychologically abused minors, teen and young adult members of the movement.

Pope Francis “insistently requested” the congregation to act, the statement said, adding that he had been “particularly attentive to the gravity of the information regarding the (movement’s) internal regime, the formation” process members went through and the financial operations of the group.

Those concerns, along with a Peruvian court’s request that Figari be jailed pending a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and psychological abuse, led to the congregation’s decision to name a trustee to assume control of the movement, the statement said. Figari apparently is living in Rome; in the first weeks of 2017, the Vatican informed Sodalitium leaders that Figari had been ordered to remain in Rome and not have any contact with the organization or give interviews to the media.

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