Chile: Jesuit Felipe Berríos denounced for alleged sexual abuse | D.W. | 04.05.2022

The Chilean priest Felipe Berríos -recognized for living in a camp mostly inhabited by migrants in the north of the country- was denounced for committing “acts of sexual connotation” by a woman when she was a child, indicated this Tuesday (05.03.2022) the Jesus company.

The complaint of the woman, whose identity was not disclosed, was filed on April 29, after which “the opening of a prior canonical investigation was decreed, appointing the lay lawyer María Elena Santibáñez in charge of this investigation “, indicated the statement of the Society of Jesus.

The Jesuits activated “the protocol established by the Center for the Prevention of Abuses and Reparation (CPR) of the institution” and promised “the greatest rigor and speed, in order to clarify the reported facts and possible responsibilities.”

“While the canonical investigation is being carried out, the provincial ordered the suspension of the public exercise of the priestly ministry of Felipe Berríos,” the note added.

Since 2015, Berríos lives in The Chimba a camp set up on a garbage dump in the city of Antofagasta, in northern Chile, considered the world capital of copper mining and where thousands of migrants – Colombians, Peruvians and Bolivians – have arrived in recent years in search of a better life, and with whom the priest collaborates.

Missionary in Africa and creator of the organization A Roof for Chile that builds houses for people who live in camps and that replicated in other Latin American countries, was summoned this year by the Government of current President Gabriel Boric to be national coordinator of camps of the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism, a position that he dismissed.

The congregation of the Jesuits of Chile recognized in a report in May 2021 that 64 people were victims of sexual abuse -34 of them during their childhood or adolescence- by 11 of their clerics who were investigated by the Catholic order itself between 2005 and 2020.

The Chilean Church has been involved in allegations of abuse since the influential priest Fernando Karadima was denounced in 2010 and a year later convicted by the Vatican as guilty of child sexual abuse.

ama (afp, efe, agency one)

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Chile: Jesuit Felipe Berríos denounced for alleged sexual abuse | D.W. | 04.05.2022