Prominent Chilean priest, sanctioned by Vatican, could be tried for sex abuse of parishioners

Associated Press/October 18, 2011

Santiago, Chile -- Three men who allege they were abused by a prominent Roman Catholic priest want Chile to prosecute him for sex abuse and not settle for the Vatican's sanction.

Retired priest Fernando Karadima was ordered by the Vatican to live in seclusion, prayer and repentance for his alleged crimes.

An attorney for the alleged victims — a doctor, philosopher and a journalist — asked Judge Jessica Gonzalez on Tuesday to formally charge Karadima. The former priest's lawyer, meanwhile, argues that so much time has passed that his 80-year-old client should be absolved.

The judge's decision could come later this week.

Karadima lives in a convent in Chile's capital. Accusations against him began in 2003, but only came to light after the victims agreed to appear on television.

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