French cardinal to offer resignation, despite abuse acquittal

Catholic News Service via Catholic Herald

January 31, 2020

A French cardinal has welcomed an appeal court judgment that overturned his conviction for failing to report abuse, but confirmed he will ask Pope Francis to allow him to resign.

“This court decision allows me to turn a page and for the Church of Lyon to open a new chapter,” Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said at a short news conference. “I will now go to Rome to renew my request. Once again, I will hand over my office as Archbishop of Lyon to Pope Francis.”

The 69-year-old cardinal spoke following Thursday’s court ruling that quashed the jail term, imposed last March, for failing to report accusations against Fr Bernard Preynat, who currently awaits sentencing for abusing at least 75 boys.

However, lawyers acting for victims of Fr Preynat told Agence France-Presse that the Appeal Court acquittal was “completely questionable in law” and warned they would challenge the judgment.

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