Asked about a bill which seeks to take away his Chilean citizenship, Ezzati (a native of Italy) said it "that pains me immensely, foremost because I was granted citizenship by indult and the decree sets out the reasons."
He said that "the authorities are certainly free to take the path they want" and "personally I think it's unjust, but I am going to continue to work as archbishop as long as the Holy See asks me to do so."
"After (they do that), as a priest with no complaints about what I was able to contribute at this time in the history of Chile, whether as an educator or as a pastor, I am going to continue working because what I am interested in is not titles, but was I am interested in is people," he concluded.
The Archdiocese of Santiago stated last week that it received a complaint of possible abuse of minors by Rivera in August 2011, but that during enquiries into the case "it was not possible to contact the complainant."
The Pastoral Office for Complaints then received a complaint against Rivera from an adult in March 2015, which permitted the start of a preliminary investigation and the implementation of the precautionary measure of removing the priest from all pastoral responsibilities.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the request of the Santiago archdiocese, "gave new instructions to continue the preliminary investigation and to start an administrative penal process" in September 2016.
The preliminary investigation was closed in November 2016, leading to the administrative penal process which concluded with the Decree of Condemnation of Aug. 16, 2018.
The priest was declared "guilty of crimes against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue continued over time and involving scandal, with adults, as is specified in Canon 1395§1 of the Code of Canon Law," the archdiocese said.
Rivera was suspended from public ministry for ten years, "only being able to celebrate the Eucharist privately and with the company of a person over 50 years of age."
He was also prohibited from "meeting with or maintaining contact with young people" and was required not to move anywhere.
Once the ten years are completed, if the priest does not comply with the measures, he risks "being suspended for a greater period of time."
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The archdiocese also noted that these four penalties were "among others."
It concluded, saying that "besides the canonical sentence which was implemented in September 2018, an exhaustive review was begun to clarify all the information that was made known publicly."
Cardinal Ezzati has faced accusations that he was involved in covering up the crimes of other abusive priests, including Fernando Karadima and Oscar Munoz Toledo.