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August 19, 2017
Sodalits provide information on abuse of minors to Peruvian prosecutors
Sodalits provide information on abuse of minors to Peruvian prosecutors
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.- The head of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae on Friday turned over to Peru's Office of the Public Prosecutor the information identified in a recent report on the community regarding the sexual abuse of minors by its founder and by four of its former members.

Alessandro Moroni Llabres, superior general of the Sodalits, went to the public prosecutor's office Feb. 17 “to make available to the authorities all the information in reference to the cases of the sexual abuse of minors identified in the investigation by international experts,” the community announced.

After handing over the report, Moroni stated: “we are continuing to seek out the truth. We are asking for your prayers for this work in a special way for the victims and all those who are suffering.”

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. CNA's executive director, Alejandro Bermúdez, and its global director of operations, Ryan Thomas, are both members of the community.

A two-part report made public Feb. 14 detailed sexual, physical and psychological abuses committed by members of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, both those who have left the community and those who remain in it.

In addition to the movement’s founder, Luis Fernando Figari, four other Sodalits were reported to have sexually abused minors. The report named the other offenders, none of whom are still part of the community. These abuses occurred between 1975 and 2007.

Seven of the Sodalits “who were identified as having physically or psychologically abused” another member or a person in formation are still in the community and performing external ministry. They have had administrative actions taken against them and are receiving training. The report did not give their names. The instances of physical and psychological abuse occurred between 1971 and 2010, the report stated.

The reports were authored by Kathleen McChesney of Kinsale Management Consulting; Monica Applewhite of Confianza, LLC; and Ian Elliott of Ian Elliott Safeguarding.

“It is the professional opinion of the reviewers that the incidents of abuse described in this report occurred,” the report noted. “However, this opinion does not represent an investigatory conclusion, nor does it constitute the findings of a legal or canonical proceeding.”

In 2015, an apostolic visitor was appointed to the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, and an ethics commission was created to investigate and offer proposals surrounding the accusations of abuse against Figari. The following year, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark was appointed the Vatican's delegate to oversee ongoing reform of the Sodalits.

In January the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae announced that 66 persons can be considered victims of abuse or mistreatment by members of the community, and that it has set aside more than $2.8 million in reparations and assistance for victims. Figari was also barred from contacting members of the community.