The Vatican has appointed a Colombian bishop to assume control of a Peruvian group whose founder is alleged to have abused members.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), which started in Lima in 1971, said last year that Luis Fernando Figari, its founder, carried out sexual, physical and psychological abuse of its members, both children and adults.

A Vatican statement said Pope Francis had followed the controversy with concern and was “particularly attentive to the gravity of the information regarding the [movement’s] internal regime, the formation” that members went through and the financial operations of the group.

The statement, from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said Bishop Noel Londoño Buitrago of Jericho would assume control of the group.

It said the move was partly provoked by a Peruvian court requesting that Figari be jailed on remand pending a criminal investigation into the allegations. Figari is currently living in Rome, having been barred from contact with the society’s members.

The appointment came days before Pope Francis’s visit to Peru.

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