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(LifeSiteNews) — A priest best known to LifeSiteNews readers for his theological objections to the novel doctrines of Pope Francis is facing a canonical trial.

Father Jesusmary Missigbètò, who currently lives in Benin, reported on Facebook yesterday that the Vatican and Opus Dei have begun “a canonical process” to “expel” him from the priesthood.

“I rely on your prayer that God will help me to live through this time of canonical trial with peace and the strength to continue defending the truth of traditional Catholic teaching against the moral and doctrinal errors that Pope Francis has inserted into it,” he wrote to supporters.

Missigbètò, the nom-de-plume of Abbé Janvier Gbénou, said that he had been summoned to a March 6 meeting with the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Côte d’Ivoire but that it had been impossible for him to attend. He reported that he has had five death threats and needs to arrange his security before he travels abroad. In addition, he needs to find a canon lawyer to defend him.

The priest included in his message a link to his February 26, 2024, summons from Father Abdoulaye Sissoko, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Côte d’Ivoire as well as a letter from Father Fernando Ocáriz Braña, the Prelate of Opus Dei.

In his February 19, 2024, letter, Ocáriz stated various reasons for opening a canonical case against Missigbètò: his unwillingness either to meet with a psychiatrist or to request a dispensation from his priestly duties, persisting “in the conduct that led to his resignation from the Prelature [of Opus Dei],” confusing the faithful, and through his conduct perhaps “promoting aversion and disobedience to the Holy See.”

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In response to his summons by Abdoulaye Sissoko, Missigbètò expressed in a March 5 letter his hope that the canonical trial would be conducted even more fairly than civil trials “because a canonical trial is not a thing of men but a reflection of divine justice and therefore cannot be rushed.”

“Moreover, the stakes of this trial are high, for during our meeting on January 17 in Benin, you told me that it could end in my dismissal from the clerical state,” he continued.

“Souls need priests, and the Church lacks priests. I believe and I hope you agree with me that that if the leaders of the Church make the decision to forbid a priest from exercising his ministry permanently, that decision carries a great responsibility before God and before souls and cannot be taken lightly or hastily.”

Deacon Nick Donnelly responded to the news of the trial on X, formerly Twitter, by criticizing the regional vicar.

Missigbètò was sanctioned by Opus Dei in 2022, forbidden to preach, hear confessions, and celebrate Mass publicly. Both Pope Francis and Cardinal Marc Ouellet signed off on the restrictions because, the priest reported, he lacked “respect and obedience to the Supreme Pontiff.” Missigbètò has written a number of articles, many of which have appeared in LifeSiteNews, criticizing Pope Francis’ theological and doctrinal novelties.

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