Pope Francis Defrocks 9 Ukraine Monks for Rogue Exorcisms, Following So-Called ‘Prophetess’

Pope Francis

Pope Francis stripped holy orders from nine monks in Ukraine, following reports that they had engaged in unapproved exorcisms and listened to a "prophetess."

Investigators found monks violating monastic discipline and performing exorcism prayers without authorization at monasteries in Kolodiivka and Velyki Borky. Some of the monks did not follow the rules and were guided by the orders of a so-called "prophetess."

"The priest who wants to do this should get the special permit, blessing from the local bishop. But they did not heed the comments," Teodor Martynyuk, bishop-assistant of the Ternopil-Zborowski archdiocese, claimed after an investigation last year, Ukraine's 112.ua news agency reported.

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) reported the dismissals on Tuesday, but Pope Francis chose to defrock the priests last month. The church reported that the defrocked former monks are "illegally staying in the village of Posich, Ivano-Frankivsk region."

Pope Francis' decrees stripped the monks from the monastic state, forbade them to wear monastic clothes, and struck down the rights and duties from their monastic vows. They can no longer refer to themselves as monks. The monks also lost their fraternal names.