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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Catholic Abuse News - Another Day, Another Cardinal

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin
French Cardinal, Convicted of Ignoring Child Sex Abuse, Will Resign from Church | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

The French Catholic cardinal recently convicted of failing to report a serial paedophile priest to the police, has decided to offer his resignation to the Pope.

Had Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon and France's most senior Catholic cleric, not been convicted in a civil court, it is unlikely that anything would have been done. In essence, he is resigning for embarrassing the church, not for failing to protect the victims of one of his priests.

Barbarin told the news media that he has "decided to go and see the Holy Father to offer him my resignation.” While there he will express his "compassion" for the alleged victims of Rev. Bernard Preynat - a compassion that was sadly lacking for the five years he looked the other way and did nothing. He even allowed Preynat to continue to have contact with his victims even after learning of the allegations.

Rev. Preynat who is now 73, ran a boy-scout group in the Lyon area for many years in the 1980s and 1990s. Dozens of men say he sexually assaulted them as children. His layers say he admits the offences but point out that the French statute of limitations means that he can't be prosecuted.

Barbarin confirmed to the court that he heard "rumours" of the abuses as early as 2010 but claims he only became fully aware from a conversation with one of the victims in 2014. He informed the Vatican but waited another year before he removed Preynat from his post - and he never informed the police. He denies that this amounted to a coverup and still protests his innocence.

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