Latin America & Caribbean

El Salvador Church suspends Father Delgado over sexual abuse

Catholic faithful participate in a procession in San Salvador, 15 Nov 15 Image copyright AFP
Image caption El Salvador's Catholic Church asked for the faithful to pray for it

The Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador has suspended a well-known priest for paedophilia.

Father Jesus Delgado sexually abused a young girl over an eight-year period during the 1980s, the Church said in statement.

He is willing to meet woman, who is now 42, and ask for forgiveness, reads the statement.

The Church was forced to act after the government of El Salvador warned that it would name the priest.

Secretary of Social Inclusion Vanda Pignato informed the Catholic Church in October of the results of the government's findings, La Prensa Grafica newspaper reported.

"He likes to celebrates mass for the children but he is a paedophile," said Ms Pignato.

After conducting an internal investigation, the Church decided to suspend the bishop of all his priestly functions.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Pope Francis declared Archbishop Romero a martyr earlier this year

The girl was abused from the aged of nine until she was 17.

Bishop Delgado, 77, was a respected figure in the Central American nation.

He was an aide and biographer of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Monsignor Romero was murdered by a death squad in 1980, in the early days of El Salvador's brutal civil war.

Pope Francis declared Monsignor Romero a martyr and unblocked the process for his beatification, which was being overseen by Father Delgado.

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