Rebel Italian cleric formally dismissed from priesthood

A high-profile Italian priest who championed euthanasia and same-sex marriage has been dismissed from the priesthood at his own request.

Fr Luca Favarin, 53, who had been suspended since last December, made the announcement of his dismissal from the clerical state in an August 24 post on Facebook, saying the Vatican decree had arrived the day before.

Favarin had been a priest of the Diocese of Padua since 1988 and, in recent years, has turned himself into a highly successful businessman as he has sought to reach out and work with migrants.

Favarin has been long at odds with official Catholic teaching on several hot-button issues, including same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

“I believe in the right to love and to see that love publicly recognised, also for people of the same sex,” he once said.

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