French Church Hit by Child Abuse Scandal
March 17, 2016
"Can Barbarin fall?" asks French-language weekly Tribune de Lyon on its cover this week, in reference to Archbishop of Lyon Philippe Barbarin, who is accused of covering up acts of paedophilia.
Cardinal Barbarin, one of France's top Catholic clerics, is accused of failing to take action against 70-year-old priest Bernard Preynat in 2009, when he became aware that Preynat had sexually abused children between 1986 and 1991. Preynat, who was removed from duty in May, has been under official investigation since January.
"I have never, never, never covered up acts of paedophilia," Barbarin told journalists at a press conference in Lourdes earlier this week.
Although the Vatican is backing Barbarin, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has asked Barbarin to "take responsibility" in the child sex abuse case that Tribune de Lyon likens to the Boston scandal depicted in the movie Spotlight.