French cardinal’s career at stake in sex abuse case

Associated Press

Nov. 30, 2019

By Nicolas Vaus-Montagny

A French cardinal said Thursday he did not understand why he was found guilty of covering up sexual abuse of children, speaking at an appeals court hearing that will help determine his future within the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin tried to resign after his original conviction in March for failing to report a predator priest to police. But Pope Francis refused to accept the resignation until the appeals process is complete.

Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, was given a six-month suspended sentence for “non-denunciation of sexual violence against minors.”

He told the court that he filed an appeal because “I cannot see clearly what I am guilty of.”

The appeal occurs at a time of increasing scrutiny around the world of the Catholic Church’s role in hiding abuse.

The case involves French priest Bernard Preynat, who has admitted to abusing Boy Scouts from the 1970s to the 1990s.

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