Defrocked: Pope laicises Chilean abuser

Pope Francis has defrocked (laicised) Chilean child sexual abuser, Fernando Karadima.

Juan Carlos Cruz, who is one of Karadima’s abuse survivors, is grateful for Francis’s decision.

In a statement on Twitter, he called Karadima “a criminal who has ruined so many people’s lives with his abuse” and offered thanks to Francis, saying he hoped survivors “feel a bit of the relief I feel today.”

The Vatican said laicising Karadima was an “exceptional decision” which Francis made “in conscience for the good of the Church,” according to a statement from the Vatican.

Citing Canon 331 of the Code of Canon Law, the statement said that in making the decision Francis had “exercised his ‘supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church,’ conscious of his service to the people of God as the successor of St Peter.”

Although Francis initially sentenced the 88-year old Karadima to a life of prayer and penance, the Vatican has not cited any new evidence or crime that may have prompted Francis to revisit the case and impose what clergy consider to be the equivalent of a death sentence.

US canon lawyer Nick Cafardi says Francis was acting fully within his legal right to revisit the case since there’s no such thing as double jeopardy in canon law.

“The pope has the ability to intensify a penalty,” Cafardi says.

Papal spokesman Greg Burke says in removing Karadima from the priesthood “Pope Francis is acting as a pastor, as a father, for the good of the entire People of God.”

“This is an exceptional measure, no doubt, but Karadima’s serious crimes have done exceptional damage in Chile.”


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News category: World.

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