Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest found culpable of the sexually abusing minors, changing a prior choice to lessen his punishment, the diocese at the heart of the embarrassment said Wednesday.
Mauro Inzoli, 67, was defrocked in 2012 after he was first accused of pedophilia, however that choice was changed in 2014, when Pope Francis requested him to avoid minors and resign to “a life of supplication and humble inclination”.
On Wednesday the diocese of Crema in northern Italy said Francis had “ruled absolutely” on May 20 that Inzoli — sentenced to almost five years in jail a year ago for sex abuse — would be stripped of his priestly status.
The cleric, named “Don Mercedes” by the press for his inclination to extravagance automobiles, was found culpable by a court in Crema of eight counts of sexual abuse of youngsters aged 12 to 16 years of age between 2004 and 2008.
Pope Francis who was elected in 2013 after succeeding Pope Benedict vowed to take a zero tolerance on issues bordering on priests and other elected members of the church abusing their office, in one form or the other.