The Vatican has dismissed a deacon in central Chile over child sexual abuse allegations. The country's influential Catholic Church is facing a widespread abuse scandal that has put Pope Francis under pressure.
The archdiocese of the city of Rancagua said Friday that deacon Luis Rubio had been removed from his duties after results from an investigation into his conduct were sent to the Vatican.
Rubio was arrested on accusations of sexual abuse of minors and improper conduct when he was in charge of a school in Las Cabras in 2013. The Rancagua archdiocese dismissed him from his duties while the investigation was underway. He is the latest of several Chilean priests or church figures to be implicated in the pedophilia inquiries.
His case was highlighted in May when a television report revealed a network of religious figures collectively known as "The Family" had allegedly carried out sexual abuse. Rubio was interviewed in the report and quoted as saying he had "made a mistake but not committed a crime."
The church investigated the network, suspending 14 priests and other religious figures as it did so. Prosecutors in Rancagua also opened their own investigation.
Widespread abuse scandal
Several members of Chilean church's hierarchy are accused of covering up or ignoring acts of child abuse by pedophile priest Fernando Karadima in Rancagua during the 1980s and 1990s.
All 34 bishops from Chile offered their resignations to Pope Francis over the scandal in an unprecedented move in May this year. The pope accepted five of them.
In the last 15 years, at least 80 Catholic priests and other clergy have faced sexual misconduct charges in Chile.
se, tj/ (AFP, EFE)