Pope Francis Issues Ban to Croatian Friar Accused of Paedophilia

Total Croatia News

The friar has been accusing of molesting five boys.

The IKA Catholic News Agency has announced that Croatian friar Gracijan Stipe Gašperov, accused of sexual molestation, has been permanently forbidden to celebrate sacraments, teach and take part in any public events on behalf of the Catholic Church, reports Index.hr on August 5, 2018.

“On June 28, after receiving a report from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Francis dismissed Gracian Stipe Gašperov from the Franciscan Order, absolving him of all the obligations arising from the sacred order, as well as those related to the religious profession, which means that Gašperov is permanently banned from celebrating sacraments, teaching and taking part in any public events on behalf of the Church. The decree was handed over to Gašperov on August 1, who signed it and confirmed that he accepts it,” said the statement.

The Split-Makarska Archdiocese’s investigation against the friar concluded on May 11. Three days later, the documents were submitted to the Apostolic Nuncio in Zagreb, who then transmitted them to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican. The investigation revealed that the friar was guilty of molesting five boys.

After the first reports, the police arrested and questioned the 78-year-old friar, but he was soon released. The police later sent a special report to the Municipal State Attorney’s Office in Split, which was to decide whether to bring the indictment. According to unofficial information, the statute of limitations had already passed, but the prosecution later announced they would conduct further investigations.

The Split State Attorney’s Office then issued a statement on its website stating that it was still dealing with the allegations against the friar. “The Split-Dalmatia Police Authority was issued a warrant for conducting further investigations into the criminal offenses of sexual abuse of children under the age of fifteen, from Article 158 of the Criminal Code. The Office is undertaking other necessary measures and actions,” announced the prosecution office at the time.

Translated from Index.hr.


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