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Religion

Pope Francis Expels Kerala Priest Convicted of Raping Minor Girl

Syro-Malabar Church priest Robin Vadakkumchery was suspended from priestly duties soon after the news about his crime was reported in early 2017.

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.

Also read: Kerala: Yet Another Orthodox Church Priest Booked Over Rape Allegations

“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.