Chilean church forwards pedophelia case to Vatican

Santiago, Chile - A local church investigation of pedophelia complaints against a prominent Chilean priest has been delivered to the Vatican for further action.

Through an attorney, Fernando Karadima has broken a two-month silence to deny accusations by several men who say he sexually abused them as teenagers.

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Santiago says the investigation is now in the Vatican's hands. Errazuriz last year renewed a probe of Karadima's behavior after suspending an earlier investigation in 2005.

The allegations in Chile added to a growing church abuse scandal in Latin America, where the large majority of more than 500 million people are Roman Catholics.

Karadima's lawyer, Juan Pablo Bulnes, spoke Saturday.