Pope accepts French cardinal resignation over pedophile priest cover up
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin after the cardinal’s conviction was overturned in French appeals court for protecting a priest who molested children, according to a statement released by the archdiocese of Lyon on Friday.
Barbarin, 69, will now vacate his post as Archbishop of Lyon. He was initally given a six-month suspended sentence for not reporting pedophile priest Bernard Preynat who preyed on dozens of boy scouts in the 1970s and 1980s.
Francis had initially refused to accept Barbarin’s resignation in March 2019, when he was initially convicted with a six-month suspended sentence, saying he preferred to await the appeal decision. At the time of the case, Francis allowed Barbarin to turn over daily duties to his deputy at the archdiocese.
The appeals court said in January that Barbarin should have reported the priest, but could not be criminally held liable. The cardinal said that he dealt with the case as per instructions from the Vatican.
As French priest #Preynat goes on trial for abusing children @PedottiC talks w/#SpotlightonFrance about sex abuse in the #Catholic Church & how it's a problem w/the way the Church perceives womenRFI English (@RFI_En) January 25, 2020
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Barbarin said after he was acquitted that he hoped the Pontiff would accept his resignation, adding that his resignation could “open a new chapter” at the archdiocese of Lyon with new authority at the helm.
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Victims of Preynat accuse Barbarin and other church authorities of complicity.
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