Vatican Takes Over Catholic Group In Peru

Pope Francis has ordered the Vatican to take over an elite Catholic society in Peru whose founder is accused of sexually and physically abusing children.

The Vatican said in a statement that the move was the latest step in a saga that had damaged the reputation of the Catholic Church in the South American country.

It comes a week before Francis is due to make his first visit as pope to the country and Chile, as victims of sexual abuse said he had not done enough to root it out.

The credibility of a commission he formed in 2014 has been severely damaged by the defections of senior members who accused the Vatican of dragging its feet.

The Vatican said the pope had appointed an administrator to run Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), whose founder Luis Figari, a layman, is due to go on trial in Peru for the sexual abuse of minors later in the year.

However, Figari has denied wrongdoing.

An internal report by the group in 2017 concluded that Figari, who founded it in 1971 and headed it till 2010, and three other high-ranking ex members had abused 19 minors and 10 adults.

Most of the cases took place between the 1970s and 2000.

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