Pope defrocks priest amid sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis has expelled the Reverend Cristian Precht Bañados of Chile, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Santiago.

Posted: Sep 17, 2018 11:28 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2018 11:45 PM

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 Chilean bishops' offer was 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.

In a February 2013 statement, Precht denied "ever forcing anyone's will, be it an adult or a minor, woman or man."

He also denied the allegations earlier this year in a letter to the director of the Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

"I absolutely deny participating, in any way, in the acts which I'm slanderously being accused of," the newspaper quoted him as saying. "I will defend my personal and clerical honor in every way I can and any time it's violated."

Precht was extremely popular in Chile and known for being a fierce defender of human rights during the Chilean dictatorship.

His defrocking comes as the Catholic Church continues to face criticism over its response to myriad allegations of sexual abuse against Catholic clergy over the years.

Pope Francis said last month that "no effort to beg pardon and seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient." He has called for a meeting of the church's top officials in February to address the scandal.

Mass resignation

All of Chile's 34 active and retired bishops offered their resignations to Pope Francis in May after an emergency summit at the Vatican. The Pope called the bishops to Rome after receiving a 2,300-page report detailing sexual abuses by priests in Chile.

The report alleged that for decades church officials in Chile knew about and covered up cases of sexual abuse, even destroying records.

Pope Francis had previously defended a Chilean bishop accused of concealing the abuse, saying he had been "slandered."

The Pope apologized after Vatican investigators said church officials in Chile had helped cover up multiple cases of sexual abuse by the clergy. In June, the Vatican said Pope Francis was sending investigators back to Chile to look into historical child abuse and accusations that a bishop covered up crimes against minors.

Last month, police arrested a former Chilean priest over the alleged abuse of seven minors. Prosecutors say 158 people, including bishops, priests and lay people are under investigation.

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 83°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Overcast
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 80°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 77°
Delphi
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Monticello
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 83°
Nice calm evening & night ahead.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events