View Full Version : Pope quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy

02-27-2017, 05:38 PM
Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the popeís own advisers question.

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the popeís clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, The Associated Press has learned.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vaticanís Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.

In some cases, the priests or their high-ranking friends appealed to Francis for clemency by citing the popeís own words about mercy in their petitions, the church official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential


02-28-2017, 10:04 AM
The church needs to just hand these cases over to the criminal justice systems in the countries in which the offenses occurred.

02-28-2017, 10:29 AM
This pope does not represent God.

02-28-2017, 12:57 PM
Churches should not mess around with criminal stuff like this. Similarly, provided laws about violence, fraud, etc. are not violated, government should not be involved in or interfere with church discipline. These situations are both, and the church should not obstruct criminal proceedings.

As to restoration, I do believe, in general, there should be a process for at least some degree of restoration when leaders or congregation members sin in ways that injure others. In these cases, it should be in parallel with or after the criminal proceedings and punishment. And protection of their former prey should be paramount.