Former paratrooper to succeed Barbarin in scandal-hit Lyon

The Tablet

October 30, 2020

By Tom Heneghan

Bishop Olivier de Germay of Ajaccio has been named the new archbishop of Lyon in a surprise appointment to the French diocese worn down by a years-long sexual abuse scandal that forced Cardinal Philippe Barbarin to resign.

A former paratrooper ordained at 37, he is an unexpected conservative choice for the historic archdiocese, whose prelate has also held the title Primate of the Gauls since 1079. His name was not among possible candidates rumoured in advance.

Reaction to the news was mixed, with secular media branding him as a homophobe close to Church traditionalists and supporters praising him as a man with experience handling difficult situations.

Bishop de Germay himself expressed surprise at the nomination and said he had no set plan for the archdiocese and would first listen to what people had to say.

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