Church to pay compensation in priest murder case

A judge ordered the Colombian Catholic church to pay COP 600 million ($315,000) in compensation to the family of the victims, in the case of a priest who killed his lover and their 5-year-old daughter in 2007, reports El Espectador.

The decision was issued by a judge in the town of Belen de Umbria, in the Risaralda department, close to where the burned bodies of Maria del Carmen Arango, 30, and her daughter, Maria Camila, were found.

The court found that the crime was motivated by the priest’s desire that the church would not find out that he had violated his celibacy order, as Arango was threatening to reveal their relationship.

In November 2007 Francey was found guilty of aggravated murder and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

The Colombian Catholic Church has been plagued by scandal lin 2010. In April, Colombian cardinal Dario Castrillon was replaced as leader of a special Latin Mass in Washington D.C. following an outcry about a letter Castrillon wrote to a French bishop in 2001, in which he praised the bishop for deciding not to report a sexually abusive priest to the police.

Earlier in April, a Colombian Catholic priest was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison for sexually abusing a 13-year-old altar boy.

The court also ordered the priest, Albarracin Jose Virgilio from Cucuta, in the North Santander Department, to pay $13,000 and banned him from holding any public office for six years and ten months.

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