The dioceses of Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Étienne shaken by a new case of pedophilia

World News Today [London, UK]

January 25, 2022

By World Today News

Several people have contacted the diocese of Lyon, the diocese of Grenoble-Vienne as well as the diocese of Saint-Etienne to reveal that they or their relatives had been sexually assaulted by Father Louis Ribes, who died in 1994. _We have gained certainty_, last October, the veracity of the facts“.

This is how it begins a joint statement from the three dioceses. A press release published as discreetly as possible on the evening of Thursday, January 13.

For his part, the Bishop of Saint-Étienne explains that he “learned recently that people have been assaulted in the diocese, Fr Ribes being from Grammond, where he returned regularly“. Sylvain Bataille expresses his “deep compassion and [sa] desolation to discover again that a priest could have committed these heinous acts“. Louis Ribes ended his career in Vienne, in Isère and more precisely in the district of Estressin.

The children posed naked for the Picasso of the churches

Louis Ribes was already well known in the area because he painted in a very colorful and let’s say rather Cubist style. He was nicknamed that the “Picasso of churches”. Some of his works are even classified.

And that’s what allowed Father Ribes to find himself alone with children. “He made us pose naked, to serve as models, to make sketches, says Annick, a Ligerienne who grew up in Pomeys (69), where Louis Ribes was a priest. It was in his room, where he was lodged, on his bed. And when the drawing was finished, it was touching (…). It was art, he was a famous artist, moreover. He was a friend of my parents who were a thousand miles from suspecting what was happening”. Annick was then 9 years old.

The presumed facts are time-barred because they go back in the 1970s and 80s. The Church says it learned about it last summer. Several victims have thus testified to the independent commission on sexual abuse in the Church, Ciase, which submitted its report last October, like Luc, who confided at the weekly Marianne have been raped when he was 8 years old.

“Do we ask questions when we find things like that?”

Out of respect for the victims, the works of Father Ribes will be deposited and stored“, announce the dioceses concerned. This is what happened in particular in Pomeys, the Way of the Cross which ran through the church was removed last week.

Works valued in 2020, during Heritage Days and on an app launched especially by the Diocese of Lyon.Read also
Picasso of the churches: the bishop of Saint-Etienne expected in the village of origin of the pedophile priest

But for Annick, the Church could have realized what had happened much earlier, at least after her death, upon discovering real child pornography documents. “When they cleared out his things, they must have found things. There were sketches of naked children, Polaroids of naked children, sometimes in suggestive positions. It had our names on it ! We ask ourselves questions when we find things like this“, asks this resident of the Monts du Lyonnais, believing that there may have been a desire at the time to conceal the unspeakable.

And it is she, in recent days, who has shared the press releases from the various dioceses on social networks. “It is a big step for the Church to recognize us as victims. But I decided to speak, I want it to be known. He was so acclaimed!“.The colorful and cubist-inspired style of Louis Ribes.
– Diocese of Lyons.

Many churches in Rhône-Alpes house the works of Louis Ribes:

  • Caluire-et-Cuire (Rhône) Church of Saint-Côme-et-Saint-Damien: Louis Ribes: Life of Saints Côme and Damien (stained glass window).
  • Chagnon (Loire) Church: Louis Ribes: The Baptism of Christ (painting).
  • Chambost-Allières (Rhône) Church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul: Louis Ribes: Stations of the Cross (paintings).
  • Charly (metropolis of Lyon) Saint-Antoine Church: Louis Ribes: 11 stained glass windows in the choir and in the gallery; stained glass windows in the nave.
  • Chuzelles (Isère) Church: Louis Ribes: The Four Elements (table).
  • Dième (Rhône) Church of Saint-François-de-Sales: Louis Ribes: The Annunciation (stained glass), Saint François-de-Sales patron saint of the parish (stained glass).
  • Givors (Rhône) Chapelle Saint-Martin de Cornas: Louis Ribes: Saint Martin sharing his coat with a poor man (stained glass), Apparition of the Risen Christ to Saint Martin (stained glass), All that you will do to the least of mine… (stained glass) .
  • Grammond (Loire) Saint-Pierre church: interior frescoes.
  • The Savages (Rhône) Notre-Dame-de-la-Roche Church: Louis Ribes: The Last Supper (painting).
  • Loire-sur-Rhône (Rhône) Church of Our Lady of the Assumption: Louis Ribes: Christ tree of life (stained glass).
  • Lyon, Sainte-Catherine Church: Louis Ribes: 8 stained glass windows (stained glass).
  • Pomeys (Rhône) Saint-Martin Church: Louis Ribes: Stations of the Cross (paintings), altars.
  • Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or (Rhône) Saint-Germain Church: Louis Ribes: The Baptism of Christ (painting).
  • Saint-Lager (Rhône) Espace des Brouilly: Georges Réty: Tasting (table), Squirrel pressing (table).
  • Lyon, Sainte-Catherine Church: Louis Ribes: 8 stained glass windows (stained glass).
  • Savigny Saint-André Church: Louis Ribes: Stations of the Cross (paintings).