Pope defrocks priest at center of Chilean sexual abuse scandal


September 27, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis has defrocked a 88-year-old Chilean priest who sexually abused teenage boys over a period of many years and is at the center of a wider abuse scandal that is still under investigation, the Vatican said on Friday.

Father Fernando Karadima was defrocked, or “reduced to the lay state” by the pope on Thursday, a move the Vatican called “exceptional” and done “for the good of the Church”.

Karadima, who lives in a home for the elderly in the Chilean capital Santiago, was notified on Friday.

He was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 and ordered to live a life of “prayer and penitence”, but was not defrocked at the time, the final years of the reign of former Pope Benedict. That meant he was still a priest, although he could not minister in public.

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