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Pope Francis quietly reduces sanction against pedophile priests

By Newsd
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FILE - In this Saturday, July 30, 2016 file photo, Pope Francis greets faithful as he arrives at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland. Pope Francis has set up a panel to study whether women could serve as deacons, a role now reserved to men. The Vatican said Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016 Francis “after intense prayer and mature reflection” decided to set up the commission, with 12 members, six men and six women, including priests, nuns and laywomen. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders.
The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, church officials told AP.
Mauro Inzoli, who received the pope’s clemency, was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12.
In some cases, the priests or their high-ranking friends appealed to Francis for clemency by citing the pope’s own words about mercy in their petitions, the church official added.
“With all this emphasis on mercy … he is creating the environment for such initiatives,” the official said.
Pope Benedict XVI had launched a tough crackdown against sex abusers during his 2005-2013 papacy and defrocked some 800 priests who raped and molested children.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis also ordered to dismiss three longtime staffers at the congregation. Two of them worked for the discipline section that handles sex abuse cases, the lawyers and church official said.
“The Holy Father understands that many victims and survivors can find any sign of mercy in this area difficult. But he knows that the Gospel message of mercy is ultimately a source of powerful healing and of grace,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said.

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