French cardinal to face trial over ‘cover up’ of priest’s sex abuse

The Local

19 September 2017

A French Cardinal will go on trial in April accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by a paedophile priest in his Lyon diocese over 25 years ago, a court ruled Tuesday.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the most senior French Catholic leader to be tried for allegedly failing to report a predator priest, will go on trial on April 4 next year, a court in Lyon said.

The Cardinal, who has been the archbishop of Lyon since 2002, and six other defendants are suspected of having covered up a priest’s child abuse in the 1980s by failing to inform the authorities.

Barbarin has always denied the allegations but last year he came under immense pressure when the sex abuse scandal first emerged.

The then Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged Barbarin to “take responsibility” for the scandal.

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