Pope defrocks Chilean Fernando Karadima

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Chilean Fr. Fernando Karadima (88) has been defrocked from his role as priest by Pope Francis. 

An official Vatican communication states that “the Holy Father has consciously made this exceptional decision for the good of the Church.”

Vatican Spokesman
“These were really horrendous crimes and the rot had to rooted it out. It is an exceptional measure that the pope has taken, but Karadima did an exceptional amount of harm to so many people in Chile.”

The decree was signed by Pope Francis Thursday September 27, automatically going into effect. It also dispenses all of his clerical obligations. Fernando Karadima was notified on Friday, September 28, 2018.

The announcement comes five months after Pope Francis met with the Chilean bishops at the Vatican to discuss the abuse crisis in their country.

In 2011, after a Vatican investigation, Karadima was found guilty of having abused teenage boys over the course of many years. He then was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance, restricted from all acts of ministry, including hearing confessions and spiritual direction. Despite this, he had not been defrocked until now.

Another determining factor in this decision was the April 2018 meeting Pope Francis had with three of Karadima's victims at the Vatican. They felt that the pope genuinely cared about what they had suffered. 

Abuse victim

May 2, 2018
“We met a friendly face of the Church during these days, completely different from the one we met before. The pope formally asked for our forgiveness in his own name and that of the Universal Church.”

Since June 2018, seven Chilean bishops have resigned as a result of an investigation of possible cover-up of Karadima's and other priests' actions. 

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