Most severe sanction of canon law

Most severe sanction of canon law

Priest with cross and exorcism manual © Alexander Brueggemann (KNA)

An Italian priest who abused a girl during an exorcism of demons has been dismissed from the clergy by Pope Francis. Earlier, the bishop of Aversa dismissed the clergyman.

The Vatican has punished an Italian priest accused of mistreatment in connection with an exorcism. As the diocese of Aversa announced on Monday, Pope Francis withdrew the clerical status of the 43-year-old cleric of the community "Piccola Casetta di Nazareth" near Naples. This is the most severe sanction provided for by Catholic canon law. According to the decree, an appeal is not possible.

Also accused are the parents

The man is accused of mistreating a 14-year-old girl during an exorcism of demons, including beating and spitting on her. He is also accused of sexual assault against two female teenagers. The ex-priest has been under investigation by the Santa Maria Capua Vetere prosecutor's office since February 2018. Earlier, the bishop of Aversa suspended the clergyman from ministry.

Accused with him, according to media reports, are the parents of the underage exorcism victim and the head of the local police commission, who belongs to the sect-like community and is alleged to have prevented investigations.

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