Pope Francis reduces penalties for paedophile priests to a lifetime of prayer

International Business Times

By Priya Joshi
February 25, 2017

Pope Francis’s decision to reduce penalties for paedophile priests has been met with widespread condemnation from church officials and sex abuse survivors.

Applying his vision of a ‘merciful church’ the Pope previously sanctioned weaker canonical sentences for two sex offenders within the church, which were commuted to a lifetime of prayer and penance after they appealed for clemency.

Reverend Mauro Inzoli was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing boys as young as 12, in 2012 and was ordered to be defrocked.

However, following an appeal, in 2014 Francis reduced the penalty to a lifetime of prayer and to continue service in a restricted ministry.

Inzoli is prohibited from celebrating Mass in public or being near children, and is barred from his diocese. He has also been ordered to undergo five years of psychotherapy.

Pope Francis overruled the advice given to him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which recommended sterner penalties befitting the heinous crimes against children, but Inzoli was controversially, welcomed back to the priesthood.

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