Italian priest arrested on child abuse charges: report

Italian priest arrested on child abuse charges: report

Italian police arrested a Catholic priest working as a bishop's spokesman in the central town of Fano on allegations he abused a 13-year-old girl, ANSA news agency reported.

Father Giangiacomo Ruggieri, 43, was immediately suspended from all priestly duties yesterday and police have raided his home and seized his computer.

The incident caused widespread outrage in the town where the clergyman, a former journalist, was known as "the young people's priest."

Bishop Armando Trasarti said he was "shocked and pained" by the incident and expressed "full solidarity with the abuse victim," ANSA reported.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by thousands of child abuse cases and reports of cover-ups in recent years and there are fears that many cases are still unreported in predominantly Catholic countries such as Italy.

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