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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Police and prosecutors raided Roman Catholic Church offices in two Chilean cities Wednesday looking for files, investigative reports and documents related to a sex abuse scandal that has damaged the clergy’s reputation in the South American country.
The surprise raids targeted the headquarters of Santiago’s Ecclesiastical Court and the bishop’s office in Rancagua in the O’Higgins region, where 14 priests are accused of having had sexual relations with minors.
Chile - Subject - Justice - Prosecutor - Emiliano
“In Chile, we are all subject to common justice,” said prosecutor Emiliano Arias, who led the raid in Santiago.
Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago, said church officials “gave the prosecutor all the requested documentation.” He added that they are “available to cooperate with the civilian justice system in all that is required.”
May - Chile - Bishops - Guilt - Chile
In May, all of Chile’s 30-plus active bishops offered to quit over their collective guilt in failing to protect Chile’s children from priests who raped, groped and molested them.
Wednesday’s raids came as two leading Vatican investigators — Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu — are in Chile to investigate the sexual abuse of minors committed by clergy.
Scicluna - Bertomeu - Report - Pope - Francis
Scicluna and Bertomeu earlier put together a 2,300-page report that prompted Pope Francis to realize he had misjudged the Chilean situation.
On Monday, Francis began purging Chile’s Catholic hierarchy over the avalanche of sex abuse and cover-up cases, starting with accepting the resignations of the bishop at the center of the scandal and two others. More...
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