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Report: Pope has eased penalties on some abusive clerics

February 27, 2017

Pope Francis has intervened to lighten the penalties assessed against some priests found guilty of sexual abuse, according to an AP report.

Citing informed Vatican sources, AP says that the Pontiff has set aside sentences imposed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the office responsible for trials of accused clerics. AP says that these papal interventions came after personal appeals to the Pope.

In one notorious case, an Italian priest whose sentence was lightened by the Pope, Father Mauro Inzoli, was later convicted by an Italian court on multiple counts of abuse. Inzoli had been laicized by Pope Benedict XVI; Pope Francis had restored him to the priesthood.

The Holy Father’s willingness to overturn CDF decisions and reduce penalties has raised new questions about his determination to crack down on abuse. The AP story follows closely on reports that members of the Pope’s own commission tasked with sex-abuse problems has been underfunded and has not met regularly.


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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Mar. 01, 2017 10:44 PM ET USA

    I've always defended the Church when I hear jokes about priests molesting children. No more.

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Feb. 28, 2017 6:07 PM ET USA


  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 27, 2017 6:26 PM ET USA

    Our Associate Pastor yesterday quoted a saint who said that more souls find their way to hell through God's mercy than by His justice. This saying is in the context of those who abuse God's mercy. Seems an appropriate moral guide for the situation described in this article. One can only pray that the full weight of the secular arm comes down on any repeat offenders pardoned by Pope Francis.