Vatican takes over Peru-based movement on eve of pope’s trip


VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican is taking over a controversial Peru-based Catholic movement, the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, whose founder was accused of sexual and psychological abuse.

The announcement Wednesday came days before Pope Francis is due to begin a trip to Chile and Peru where the sexual abuse scandal is expected to play out on the sidelines.

Peruvian prosecutors recently announced they were seeking the arrest of the Sodalitium’s founder, Luis Figari.

A Vatican statement said the congregation for religious orders had issued a decree Wednesday naming a commissioner to take over the society, which has chapters throughout South America and the U.S.

A journalist and former member of the society began publicly accusing Figari of abuse in 2010. Many allegations were subsequently confirmed by a Vatican inquiry.