CDF laicizes Ecuadorian priest for abuse of minors

Hannah Brockhaus

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Pope Francis addresses the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Credit: Vatican Media/CNA

An Ecuadorian priest accused of the sexual abuse and possible torture of minors was dismissed from the clerical state by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Archdiocese of Guayaquil announced Monday.


The CDF issued a decree July 12 dismissing Luis Fernando Intriago Paez from the clerical state.  The decree followed the Congregation’s rejection of a second appeal by Intriago which “lacked foundation,” according to a July 23 press release from Archbishop Luis Cabrera Herrera.


The press release explained that as a laicized priest, Intriago is barred from holding any office in the Church, from the celebration of the sacraments in public or private, and from imparting any theological teaching within the institutes of the Catholic Church. The decision may not be appealed.


Intriago’s dismissal from the clerical state by the CDF concludes a canonical trial which began in 2013.


Intriago, who had directed youth groups for more than ten years, is also under civil and criminal investigation for sexual abuse of minors and for possible torture, including a ritualist aspect, Ecuadorian television Ecuavisa reported.


The archdiocese said in their statement that the civil and criminal proceedings against Intriago continue, and they “hope that the judges will decide the sentence as soon as possible.”


“As the Christian-Catholic Church of Guayaquil, we ratify our firm decision to continue working to eradicate all forms of physical, psychological and sexual abuse,” the statement continued, “especially against minors, such as also to accompany the victims psychologically and spiritually.”


This is the second priest to be dismissed from the clerical state in the Archdiocese of Guayaquil since May. The archdiocese released a statement May 18 announcing the laicization of Pedro Vicente Garcia Garcia, after he was found guilty of crimes of a sexual nature by the Ecuadorian courts.


Elsewhere in Ecuador, in the Archdiocese of Cuenca, Fr. Cesar Cordero Moscoso, 91, founder of the Catholic University of Cuenca, is currently under investigation by the Vatican for an allegation of repeated sexual abuse of a minor more than 50 years ago.


Cordero denies the allegations and has questioned the accounts of alleged victims, accusing them of collusion, saying in his own defense, “he who wants to remain whole does not allow abuse to take place.”


Cordero has been suspended from public ministry while the case is in process.


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