The Vatican has defrocked prominent Lebanese priest Mansour Labaki who was charged by a French court for the alleged sexual assault of three girls and sentenced to 15 years in jail in absentia
Mansour Labaki was stripped of his status as a priest in a decree signed by Pope Francis, according to a statement by the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon (APECL).
The Vatican also defrocked Georges Badr also convicted of sexual abuse.
“We pray for the victims of sexual abuse and for our brothers Georges and Mansour, that this decision may be their salvation,” the APECL statement said.
The statement added that they will “pray for the priests so that the Lord may strengthen them in their testimony and help them over their weakness and pray especially for the victims of sexual abuse.”
Labaki, 82, was a famous Maronite priest in Lebanon before the revelations of sexual abuse. He is the founder of an orphanage and has written several books.
He had been found guilty in France on two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault against three girls.
Related: Lebanese Priest Sentenced In France To 15 Years In Jail For Sexual Assault