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Pope Francis laicises abuser priest

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope Francis has laicised Fr Mauro Inzoli, a priest convicted of the sexual abuse of young people.

La Stampa reports that the Pope has reduced Fr Inzoli to the lay state, after the priest’s second Church trial.

Fr Inzoli had been convicted before, and Pope Benedict XVI had laicised him. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had recommended that Benedict’s sentence be upheld. But Pope Francis, as with some other cases, preferred a more lenient sentence, and allowed Fr Inzoli to return to priestly status. In 2015, the priest attended an Italian conference on the family.

Fr Inzoli had been convicted of abusing five boys aged from 12 to 16, between the years of 2004 and 2008. His lifestyle reportedly earned the nickname “Don Mercedes”.