Catholic World News

Peruvian lay movement denounces founder, citing abuse

April 07, 2016

The Sodality of Christian Life, a lay movement with a growing influence in Latin America, has issued a statement acknowledging that its founder was guilty of sexual and psychological abuse.

Luis Fernando Figari, who founded the Sodality in 1971, relinquished his role as leader of the lay movement in 2011, following charges that he and the group's vicar general had abused members. He has been living in a house maintained by the movement in Rome. 

Following a Vatican-ordered apostolic visitation of the group, the new leader of the Sodality, Alessandro Morono Llabres, announced that the Society now considers Figari "guilty of the abuses of which he is accused," and "totally deplores and condemns his behavior."

The Sodality has demanded Figari's "immediate separation from our community," and asked the Vatican to help supervise a reform of the movement. A statement from the Sodality expressed repentance, asked the forgiveness of abuse victims, and accepted "whatever penance is necessary to obtain the forgiveness of God, the Church, our great family, and society as a whole."

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