STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 65°
Kokomo
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 59°
Rensselaer
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 57°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 65°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 62°
Crawfordsville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 59°
Frankfort
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 59°
Delphi
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 58°
Monticello
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 58°
Logansport
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Clear and Chilly Wednesday, Rain Thursday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 724214

Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion989071736
Lake53172962
Allen40223675
Hamilton35354408
St. Joseph35270550
Elkhart28228437
Tippecanoe22297217
Vanderburgh22231396
Porter18560304
Johnson17832376
Hendricks17098313
Clark12897191
Madison12519339
Vigo12379244
Monroe11811168
LaPorte11691210
Delaware10571185
Howard9823215
Kosciusko9347117
Hancock8204139
Bartholomew8036155
Warrick7754155
Floyd7630176
Wayne7002198
Grant6986174
Boone6652101
Morgan6529139
Dubois6139117
Marshall5954111
Dearborn577177
Cass5769105
Henry5671102
Noble555783
Jackson499672
Shelby488196
Lawrence4470120
Gibson433791
Harrison432972
Clinton426353
DeKalb423284
Montgomery423088
Whitley392739
Huntington386380
Steuben381057
Miami379165
Knox370990
Jasper361347
Putnam357760
Wabash352478
Adams340354
Ripley338370
Jefferson328481
White312254
Daviess294399
Wells290281
Decatur282992
Fayette278362
Greene276085
Posey270733
Scott264453
LaGrange263870
Clay258945
Randolph239581
Washington239131
Spencer230431
Jennings228848
Starke213252
Fountain211846
Sullivan210442
Owen195856
Fulton194240
Jay190429
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange181854
Rush172625
Vermillion167643
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145416
Blackford134332
Pike132634
Pulaski115945
Newton106734
Brown101441
Crawford99014
Benton98114
Martin87415
Warren80515
Switzerland7808
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

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