Sodalit founder expelled from congregation’s community life

Lima, Peru, Feb 21, 2019 / 03:00 pm (CNA).- The founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae has been formally expelled from the group’s community life, and forbidden from contacting any member of the Sodalitium, the group announced in a statement released on Feb. 20. Figari is also forbidden from returning to his native Peru.

On January 30, 2017, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life prohibited Figari from having any contact with other members of the society after it was found that he had sexually and psychologically abused members and committed other abuses of power.

Figari immediately appealed this decision, and made a second appeal in 2018 after his first was denied.

In January 2017, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life ordered at that the Sodalitium ban Figari from Peru, “except for grave motives and always with a written permission,” and that he be moved to a location where there is no Sodalit community.

They also said that Figari should be forbidden from any form of contact with other members of the Sodalitium, and that Figari would not be allowed to make “publicly or in private, any statement to the news media, or to participate under any title or for any reason, in public events or meetings of either the Sodalitium or any other ecclesiastical or civil person or institution.”

A Sodalit has since been designated as a contact person for Figari, should there be a need to have communication.

The Superior General of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, José David Correa, published a decree on February 5, 2019, that said that because Figari’s appeals had been rejected, he is now definitively subject to the 2017 restrictions. Figari has been informed of these restrictions.

Figari resides in Rome. As part of the decree enacting the policies, the “Mother of the Reconciler” community where he is living has been suppressed, and is no longer considered to be a Sodalit community. Figari will continue to live at the residence “until the details of his new residence are completed,” the Sodalitium said in the statement.

At the conclusion of its 2019 General Assembly, the Sodalitium issued a statement of “forgiveness and reconciliation” in which it lamented the cases of abuse committed by some of its members and its founder Luis Fernando Figari.

“We consider it a duty as an Assembly to make a public statement on the relationship of our community with Luis Fernando Figari, whom we cannot consider as a spiritual exemplar for our Sodalit community.”

”We strongly condemn, and at the same time with pain and shame, the abuses committed by him; the abuse of his authority, his lack of respect for freedom, the physical and psychological abuses, the sexual abuse, which were denounced and investigated by our community and the Holy See,” the statement says.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. CNA’s executive director, Alejandro Bermúdez, is a member of the community.

 

ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister agency, contributed to this report.

 

Correction: This story originally reported that Figari was expelled from the Sodalitium itself. This was an error. Figari has been expelled from the community life of the Sodalitium. The story has been corrected.

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