SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Catholic officials in Costa Rica’s capital say that a cleric accused of sexually abusing minors has been expelled from the priesthood.
Church spokesman Jason Granados says that the Vatican expelled Mauricio Viquez two weeks ago, but has been unable to locate him to notify him of the decision.
A Costa Rican court has issued an international detention request for Viquez, who is accused of abusing two teenagers in 2003. He took a leave of absence from teaching at a local university last month and immigration records indicate he left the country on Jan. 7.
Officials are concerned because the statute of limitations on prosecuting the alleged crimes will soon take effect.
The Vatican is also investigating San Jose Archbishop Jose Rafael Quiros, who is accused by Viquez’s reported victims of covering up the abuse.
The archbishop, who is president of the country’s bishops’ conference, didn’t attend the Feb. 21-24 Vatican abuse summit, instead sending a substitute.
Crux staff contributed to this report.