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The Pope dismisses the vicar of Kerala, convicted of rape | India News

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KOZHIKODE: Pope Francis has dismissed Robin Vadakkumchery, the vicar of Kerala who was convicted last year for raping and impregnating a minor girl and imprisoned for 20 years, for being a priest.

“From now on, he will not have priestly rights and duties. He will be known as Robin Vadakkumchery,” said Jose Kocharakkal, official spokesman for the Catholic diocese of Mananthavady, on Sunday. Kocharakkal said that Pope Francis expelled Vadakkumchery from the clergy on the basis of a report submitted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome on December 5. He had been convicted and sentenced by the Thalassery sex crime child protection court in February 2019.

Vadakkumchery was the vicar of the Church of San Sebastián in Neendunoki, in the Kannur district. The dismissal of a priest of the Catholic Church of the clerical state is a permanent measure reserved for the most serious crimes. Only the Pope has the power to do it.

The Catholic diocese of Mananthavady had suspended Vadakkumchery from his priestly duties on February 27, 2017, after an anonymous call to Childline in Kannur. The caller said that a younger girl had given birth to a baby in a church-run hospital, and that the boy was immediately transferred to the foundry house of Holy Infant Mary in Vythiri in Wayanad. Vadakkumchery was arrested on February 28 from Kochi airport while trying to flee to Canada. He is serving his sentence in the central prison of Kannur.

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