Imprisoned for 20 years, the vicar of Kerala convicted of rape dismissed by Pope Francis

KOZHIKODE: He has fired the Father, who was convicted last year for raping and impregnating a minor girl in the priesthood.

The court of Thalassery Pocso had sentenced in February 2019 to Vadakkumchery, former vicar of St in Neendunoki in Kannur, to 20 years in prison for raping and impregnating a minor girl.

The Catholic diocese of Mananthavady PRO, Fr. José Kocharakkal, said Sunday that Pope Francis has dismissed Vadakkumchery from the priesthood on the basis of the report presented by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome on December 5, 2019.

From now on, he will not have priestly rights and duties and will no longer be called P. Robin Vadakkumchery. He will be known only as Robin Vadakkumchery, ”said Fr. Kocharakkal.

The dismissal of a member of the Catholic Church of the clerical state is a permanent measure that is reserved for the most serious crimes. Only the Pope has the power to dismiss a priest from the clerical state.

The Catholic diocese of Mananthavady had suspended Vadakkumchery from his priestly duties on February 27, 2017, after the incident came to light.

The congregation for the doctrine of faith in Rome began the procedures to remove Robin from the priesthood in June 2019 and, according to his report, Pope Francis has removed Robin Vadakkumchery from the priesthood and all his rights and duties on December 5, It was published in the statement. by the diocese of Mananthavady said.

The diocese delivered the decree last month to Vadakkumchery, who is currently serving a sentence in the Central Kannur prison, and an official communication that the decree was signed and accepted was sent to Rome, thus completing the dismissal procedure.

The case involving a sexual offense against the child by a priest came to light when Childline in Kannur received an anonymous call in February 2017, saying that a child had given birth to a baby at Christu Raj Hospital in Koothuparamba , directed by the church, on February 7, 2017, and that the newborn had been immediately transferred to the House of the Founders of Holy Infant Mary in Vythiri in Wayanad.

A police investigation revealed that Vadakkumchery had sexually abused the child. The priest was arrested on February 28 from the Nedumbassery airport in Kochi while trying to flee to Canada.

In the course of the trial, the rape survivor and all the main prosecution witnesses, including her parents, became hostile, but the prosecution secured a conviction by producing the original birth certificate of the girl proving she was a minor when she was sexually abused by the priest.

(The identity of the victim has not been revealed to protect their privacy according to the directives of the Supreme Court in cases related to sexual assault)