The New York Times
January 30, 2020
By Aurelien Breeden
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, had been found guilty last year of failing to report a priest in his diocese who had admitted to sexually abusing dozens of Boy Scouts.
A French appeals court on Thursday overturned a ruling against a cardinal who had been found guilty of covering up decades-old sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese, the latest twist in the most high-profile legal case against a clergyman in France.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 69, the archbishop of Lyon, had been found guilty last year of failing to report allegations of child abuse by the Rev. Bernard Preynat to the authorities.
Father Preynat, 74, went on trial this month and has admitted there to systematically abusing dozens of Boy Scouts in the Lyon region from the 1970s to the 1990s. A verdict in that case is expected in March.
Cardinal Barbarin argued in court — and the appeals court agreed — that he wasn’t legally obligated to report the allegations to the authorities because Father Preynat’s victims were adults when they alerted the cardinal about the abuse, and because he did nothing to intentionally discourage them from going to the authorities themselves.
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