Pope Francis has expelled the Reverend Cristian Precht Bañados of Chile, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Santiago.
This is the first formal resignation the Pope has decreed since every bishop in Chile offered to step down in May over the country’s sex abuse scandal. The move is thought to be unprecedented in the modern history of the Catholic Church.
Precht had been suspended in 2012 from practicing within the ministry for five years after the Archbishop of Santiago ordered a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against him.
The Archbishop issued a statement at the time saying that “during the process were established verifiable reports of abusive behavior with adults and minors.”
Precht has not been charged with any crimes by Chilean authorities, but was not allowed to leave the country’s capital, Santiago, pending completion of the church investigation. Read more