Chilean police make first arrest in church abuse scandal

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) – Chilean police have arrested a former Roman Catholic Church official after he confessed earlier this year to sexually abusing at least five children, a state prosecutor said on Thursday.

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Chilean prosecutor Emiliano Arias is seen after a meeting with special Vatican envoys archbishop Charles Scicluna and father Jordi Bertomeu at the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago, Chile, June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

The arrest was the first since authorities launched a major investigation this year into cases of abuse within Chile’s Catholic Church, which Vatican officials accused in February of “grave negligence” and a cover-up in its handling of sex abuse allegations.

Oscar Muñoz, who served as chancellor of the archdiocese of Santiago, confessed in January to church authorities that he sexually abused at least five children, according to Prosecutor Emiliano Arias, who ordered his arrest in the capital on Thursday.

Ironically, Arias told reporters that Muñoz had been responsible for receiving allegations of abuse within the church.

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