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Vatican appoints commissioner to oversee troubled lay movement

January 10, 2018

The Vatican has announced the appointment of an apostolic commissioner to take over leadership of the Sodality of Christian Life.

Bishop Noel Antonio Londoño Buitraga of Jerico, Colombia, will become the Vatican-appointed head of the lay movement, which was founded in Peru in 1971 by Luis Fernando Figari. The appointment comes after a Vatican investigation of the movement, prompted by complaints that Figari had been guilty of sexual and psychological abuse of members.

Last year the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious ruled that Figari—who had stepped down from his leadership position in the Sodality in 2011—was “guilty of the abuses of which he is accused,” and ordered him to refrain from any further content with members of the group.

In its January 10 announcement of the apostolic commissioner, the Vatican press office said that Pope Francis had called for careful oversight of the Sodality’s “internal regime, formation, and economic and financial management” under the new leadership.


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