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Priest Arrested in Chile for Sexually Abusing Students

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Audin Araya allegedly abused three students at a Catholic school in 2008 in the Chilean city of Concepcion, situated 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of the capital Santiago, AFP reported Saturday.

A court in Conception issued Araya’s arrest warrant on Friday after an inquiry into the allegations of his sexual abuse of students aged between 15 and 17 in 2008, when Araya was the pastor of a high school in Concepcion.

Chilean prosecutors say the alleged pedophile priest will undergo a psychiatric testing to determine whether he is suffering from mental disorder and if he is competent to stand trial.

The charges have been flatly rejected by Araya. His attorney Marcelo Torres says the allegations are “contradictory” and “not clear.”

The Chilean Catholic Church’s reputation has already been traduced over a number of high-profile cases of sexual abuses by pedophile priests as well as a serious dereliction of duty in investigating victims’ complaints.

On April 8, the Church issued a public apology for abuse by pedophile priests and admitted that there had been 20 confirmed or alleged sexual abuse cases.

Buffeted by allegations of sexual exploitation in the Latin American country, priest Fernando Karadina and Sister Paula are among influential Catholic figures, who have become the target of ongoing investigations into the recent sexual scandals.

Karadina, 80, has been accused of abusing minors over a period of 20 years when he was the head of a Santiago parish. Sister Paula traveled to Germany before allegations against her came into light.

On Friday, Ricardo Munoz, who is a pastor at a local church in Melipilla, located 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of Santiago, was sentenced to10 years in prison for sexually abusing four minors aged 16 and 17.

In recent years, the Roman Catholic Church has been dogged by recurring abuse scandals involving its priests in many parts of Europe.

The impact of the scandal on the Church’s image has prompted some officials to call on Pope Benedict XVI to resign. church scandals Priest arrested for abusing students in chile

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