Pope removes notorious Chilean abuser from the priesthood


September 28, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Seven years after Fernando Karadima was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a life of penitence and prayer, Pope Francis has made the “exceptional” decision to remove him from the priesthood.

A Vatican statement released on Friday said the decision was made “in conscience and for the good of the Church.”

The now former priest had been found guilty of abuse by the Vatican in 2011, and had been sentenced to a life of penitence and prayer.

Karadima was never sentenced by Chilean courts due to the country’s statute of limitations.

To this day, it’s unknown how many people were sexually abused by Karadima. Presumably, the number of people who were psychologically abused, victims of his abuse of power, or who had their consciences manipulated by the priest, is even larger.

In the 1980s and 1990s Karadima led a one-time impressive lay movement from his parish in El Bosque, Chile, with some 40 young men finding their vocation to the priesthood there. Four of these men, who formed his “iron circle,” were later made bishops.

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