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Brazil: Bishop arrested on corruption charges

Католический храм в Латинской Америке
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This material belongs to: BBC.

Police have detained the Roman Catholic bishop of the city of Formosa in central Brazil, on charges of corruption.

Bishop José Ronaldo and six other priests are accused of diverting money from the coffers of churches in three cities around the capital Brasilia.

Prosecutors said they are investigating the disappearance of around $600,000 (£430,000) from church accounts.

Police say they expect to make more arrests.

The investigation by prosecutors and police started in 2015, following complaints by parishioners a year after José Ronaldo was appointed as bishop of Formosa.

According to prosecutors, the money came from church collections boxes, donations, wedding and baptism fees.

They said a number of church buildings, priest residences and a monastery had been searched.

In a local media interview two years ago, Bishop José Ronaldo denied any wrong-doing, saying the money collected from parishes is used to pay for the maintenance of priest’s residences, seminaries and other church buildings and assets.