BEIRUT — Less than a year after he was sentenced by the French justice system to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing minors, the Lebanese Maronite priest Mansour Labaky has now been stripped of his priesthood status, according to a statement issued Tuesday morning by the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon and confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour by the Archdiocese of Beirut.
The statement said that a decree signed by Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reverts two priests, Mansour Labaky and another named Georges Badr, to layperson status.
"We pray for the victims of sexual abuse and for our brothers Georges and Mansour, that this decision may be their salvation," the text states. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is charged by the Vatican with "promoting and protecting doctrine and morals in conformity with the faith throughout the Catholic world." The statement did not clarify the exact reason Badr had been defrocked.
The 82-year-old priest Labaky was convicted in 2013 by the Congregation for the sexual abuse of three minor girls, over a period from 1976 to 1997. Following this conviction, victims filed complaints with the French criminal justice system.
From 1991 to 1998, Labaky founded and directed the "Notre-Dame - Children of Lebanon" home for Lebanese children orphaned by war, in Douvres-la-Délivrande in the Normandy region of France, where he was found to have abused many young girls.
On Nov. 9, 2021, he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years of criminal imprisonment for rape and sexual assault on minors by the Criminal Court of Calvados in Caen, where the group home was located.