KALPETTA: Pope Francis has defrocked Roman Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery of the Mananthavady diocese in Kerala, who was convicted by the Thalassery POCSO ( Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court for raping and impregnating a minor in 2016.
Only the Pope has the power to defrock a priest in the Catholic church.
Fr Robin, who was a teacher at the school where the survivor was studying, allegedly raped her several times in 2016 and impregnated the then 16-year-old girl. The girl gave birth to a child on February 7, 2017. On February 27, 2017, Mananthavady diocese suspended Fr Robin from priesthood and formed a committee for further investigation.
Meanwhile, the Thalassery POCSO court found him guilty in the case as the DNA of the child matched with Robin's. The court awarded him 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3 lakh. The POCSO court has also acquitted five nuns from the Christu Raj convent and one administrator on charges of conspiracy and forgery of documents.
A statement by the Public Relations Office of Catholic Diocese of Mananthavady on Sunday said the Pope dismissed Vadakumchery on December 9, 2019, and the decree was handed over by the Mananthavady diocese last month. "An official communication that the decree was signed and accepted was sent to Rome," said Fr Jose Kocharackal, PRO of Mananthavady diocese.