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Pope Francis deprives priest of further ‘clerical rights’

Pope Francis deprives priest of further ‘clerical rights’

Pope Francis has sacked a 64-year-old clergyman of Rwandan descent, Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, who had been serving in northern France for close to 30 years.

The bishop of Évreux issued a communiqué, which has been circulating online, stating that Munyeshyaka “is excluded” from continuing to serve as a priest “anywhere else” and “automatically loses clerical rights.”

The authenticity of the communiqué was confirmed by the Office of the Diocese of Évreux to the BBC, and it was revealed that the decision was based on a papal decree dating back to March.

Pope Francis, Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, clerical rights, papal decree, fathering a child
Pope Francis

Munyeshyaka, who fled to France following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, has not commented on the decision.

In December 2021, he was suspended by his diocese after it was revealed that he had legally acknowledged fathering a 10-year-old boy.

Mr Munyeshyaka was ordained a priest in Rwanda in 1992, where he is accused of playing a role in the killing of hundreds of Tutsis who had fled to his church in the capital, Kigali, during the genocide.

Courts in France have however cleared him of the genocide charges.


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