Pope Francis expelled from the priesthood a Chilean who gained notoriety for sexually abusing young men in his parish.
In a statement, the Vatican said that Fernando Karadima was dismissed from the clerical state by the pope, who “made this exceptional decision in conscience and for the good of the Church.”
Citing canon law, the Vatican said the pope “exercised his ‘supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church’ aware of his service to the people of God as successor of St Peter.”
Pope Francis signed the decree on 27th September and Karadima was informed of the decision the next day, the statement said.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said it is a sign of the pope’s “hard line against abuses.”
“We were in front of a very serious case of rot that needed to be yanked by its root,” Burke said. “This is an exceptional measure, without a doubt, but the serious crimes of Karadima have done exceptional damage in Chile.”
Picture: Chilean Fr Fernando Karadima leaves after attending a 2015 hearing at the Supreme Court building in Santiago. A 28th September Vatican statement said Pope Francis had expelled Karadima from the priesthood. (CNS photo/Sebastian Silva, EPA).