Pope Francis defrocks Chilean priest Fernando Karadima

REUTERS/Carlos Vera

Pope Francis has defrocked Fernando Karadima, 88, of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Chile, the Vatican said on Friday. Kadima has been  at the center of a child sex abuse scandal. In June, Archbishop Charles Scicluna was sent to Chile to investigate the case, he went back to Chile in June.

In February Archbishop Scicluna together with Monsignor Bertomeu were sent as the Vatican’s special envoys to Chile where met with the victims of Karadima, as well as looked into accusations of a cover up made by Bishop Juan Barros of the diocese of Osorno.  Barros subsequently resigned in June which was announced by the Vatican. In June Archbishop Scicluna and Bishop Bertomeu went again to Chile on a Pastoral Mission. On their arrival they had told the faithful that they came to apologize on behalf of the Pope. Monsignor Scicluna serves as the highest official in the Vatican concerning appeal cases on sexual abuse.

In a statement issued in Spanish, the Vatican said that “the Holy Father has made this exceptional decision in conscience and for the good of the Church”.

The decree was signed by Pope Francis on Thursday and entered into force immediately from that moment. The decree included the dispensation from all clerical obligations.

In a Tweet Juan Carlos Cruz, who suffered from Karadima’s abuse thanked Pope Francis stating that he hopes that thousands of survivors feel a bit of the relief he felt.