Two pastors reinstated in Chile after abuse investigation

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The Diocese of Rancagua announced it has restored two priests to ministry who were accused of sexual abuse after the investigations showed that the incidents reported against them "are not credible."

The two priests are Aquiles Correa Reyes and Gino Bonomo Ugarte, both accused of belonging to a network of 14 priests known as "The Family," allegedly involved in sexual misconduct and the sexual abuse of minors.

After failing to prove any associated crime, the priests were acquitted by civil courts Sept. 28.

The Apostolic Administrator of Rancagua, Bishop Fernando Ramos reinstated the priests in their position as pastors Oct. 18. Fr. Aquiles Correa returns to the Immaculate Conception Parish of the Company of Jesus in Graneros and Fr. Gino Bonomo rejoins Our Lady of the Rosary in Pumanque.

The preliminary investigations were conducted by Fr. Patricio Cavour Calderón, who remains responsible for investigating the other complaints against priests in the diocese.

"The Family" case became known after a former youth ministry coordinator in Rancagua, Elisa Fernández, told Channel 13 in May that in the last two years she went to see the local bishop Alejandro Goic four times to warn him about this group.

Bishop Goic then removed the 14 priests from ministry May 21. He was the president of the National Council for the Prevention of Abuse and Accompaniment of Victims but his resignation from that position was accepted by the Chilean bishops May 26 in the midst of the scandal. On June 28, Pope Francis accepted Goic's resignation as Bishop of Rancagua.

Two other priests accused of belonging to "The Family, " Héctor Fuentes and Freddy Gorigoitia, submitted their resignation from the priesthood July 28.

This article was originally published by our Spanish language sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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