Kochi: Adhering to a policy of “zero tolerance” for clergy who sexually exploit minors, Pope Francis has expelled a Kerala priest convicted of rape from all priestly duties and rights, according to church officials.
Syro-Malabar Church priest Robin Vadakkumchery is currently serving a jail term for impregnating a 16-year-old girl in Mananthavady diocese.
“Vadakkumchery has been dispensed from the exercise of priestly duties and rights. That means he has been reduced to the state of a layman,” a Church official told PTI.
He was suspended from priestly duties soon after the news about his crime was reported in early 2017.
A POCSO court in Thalassery last year had sentenced Vadakkumchery to 20 years of Rigorous Imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs three lakh on him.