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Vatican expels Chilean priest accused of sexual abuse

September 16, 2018

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean church authorities say Pope Francis has ordered a man accused of sexually abusing minors removed from the priesthood.

The Santiago archbishop’s office said Saturday the decision cannot be appealed.

Cristian Precht already had earlier been suspended from priestly duties for five years after an investigation into similar allegations. He is now in his late 70s.

Precht headed the Chilean church’s office in defense of human rights in the 1970s during part of the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Chilean authorities last month raided the headquarters of the country’s bishop’s conference as part of a widespread investigation into sex abuse committed by members of the Marist Brothers order.

The pope earlier ordered an investigation and denounced a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in Chile’s Catholic Church.

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