December 19, 2016 / 3:41 PM / 9 months ago

Vatican trial finds three El Salvadoran priests guilty of sex abuse

Clouds are seen over St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican February 12, 2013. Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, the first pope to do so in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi ( VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION)

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - Three El Salvadoran priests have been found guilty of sexual abuse against minors at a Vatican ecclesiastical trial and suspended from their priestly duties, San Salvador’s Catholic Church announced Sunday.

    Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar of San Salvador said Francisco Galvez, Antonio Molina and Jesus Delgado, the biographer and former secretary of murdered Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, were expelled after a criminal trial held at the Vatican found them responsible for sex crimes committed between 1980 and 2000.

No criminal charges have been brought against the three men by the Salvadoran government.

Pope Francis has said sexual violence against children will not be tolerated and has vowed to root out sexual abuse in the Church.

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Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Natalie Schachar; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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