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Algirdas Jurevicius, the bishop of Telsiai, northwestern Lithuania, has laicized priest Jonas Kusas for his abuse and sexual exploitation of minors.
Kunigas, Biblija
Kunigas, Biblija
© Shutterstock

In his statement, the bishop said that "the evidence collected and the legal and factual circumstances established during the extrajudicial proceedings are sufficient to establish and declare with moral certainty that Jonas Kusas is guilty (constat) of the abuse and sexual exploitation of minors".

"For us, the Church, this is really a major blow," Jurevicius told the public radio LRT on Saturday.

In his words, the crime took place in the 1990s and three minors have been identified as victims.

"The three persons are from different areas, they are unrelated to each other, and this is what gives moral and factual certainty to the crimes that took place," the bishop said, adding that the expelled priest put himself "behind a wall of silence".

"The priest himself has not admitted his guilt so far. (...) The priest is expected to repent and apologize to the victims," the Telsiai Curia said in a comment to BNS.

It added that Kusas could have appealed against the bishop's decision to strip him of his clerical status but he didn’t exercise this right.

The decision, which came into force on Saturday, is no longer subject to appeal.

BNS
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