Vatican City, Sep 28, 2018 / 08:30 am
The pope has ordered the laicization of Fernando Karadima, a Chilean priest convicted in 2011 of the sexual abuse of minors. He had previously been sentenced to a life of prayer and penance.
Pope Francis made the "exceptional decision" to dismiss Karadima from the clerical state, "in conscience for the good of the Church," according to a Sept. 28 Vatican communique.
Papal spokesman Greg Burke told journalists that in removing Karadima from the priesthood "Pope Francis is acting as a pastor, as a father, for the good of the entire People of God."
"This is an exceptional measure, no doubt, but Karadima's serious crimes have done exceptional damage in Chile."
The papal decree of dismissal was signed Sept. 27 and "came into force automatically from that moment," the Vatican statement said. The dismissal, which includes the dispensation from all obligations of the priesthood, was communicated to Karadima on Friday.