Fernando Karadima, once one of Chile’s most beloved priests, has died aged 90.

For years, Mr Karadima exerted influence over elite worshippers at his parish in Providencia, a well-heeled Santiago commune.

However, in 2010, former parishioners Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and José Andrés Murillo came forward with sexual abuse allegations against him.

In 2011 he was found guilty of sexually abusing minors by a Vatican investigation, which forced him to retire from ministerial duties.

In 2018, Karadima was defrocked by pope Francis “for the good of the Church”, a press release said.

Nevertheless, he never faced the Chilean justice system and avoided jail.

Karadima spent his final years serving a sentence of penance and prayer.

While his figure sparks huge controversy, even internationally, it is known that his closest supporters never left him.

The Karadima case made news globally and it shook the Chilean Catholic Church to its very core.