Cardinal Apologizes to Sexually Abused Children 25 Years Later
March 24, 2016
|Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was appointed as the Archbishop of Lyon in 2002. | Photo: AFP|
A French cardinal accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests apologized to victims during a mass, his diocese said Thursday .
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, quoting Pope Francis, said Wednesday he was "obliged to assume all the evil committed by some priests and personally apologize for the damage they have caused by sexually abusing children."
He said he apologized even though he was not in power in the diocese "when the abominable acts took place".
Barbarin has been caught up in a scandal over abuses that took place 25 years ago, long before he became archbishop of Lyon in 2002.
A priest in his diocese, Bernard Preynat, was charged in January after victims came forward with claims he had sexually abused Scouts between 1986 and 1991.
Prosecutors say Preynat has admitted the charges.
The victims have filed complaints against several senior diocesan officials, including Barbarin, accusing them of failing to report the priest or remove him from duty
Barbarin said that when he learned of the priest's past in 2007, he asked him if he had committed further abuses since 1991 and the priest swore he had not. Barbarin said no accusations had been made since.
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