Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard. Photo:Le Monde

Vatican Will Investigate French Cardinal Self-Accused of Abuse

The Church’s practice at present is not to initiate a canonical process until the civil justice process is first concluded.

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(ZENIT News / Bordeaux-Rome, 15.11.2022).- Matteo Bruni, the Holy See’s spokesman, informed the media that the Vatican will also open an investigation against the still Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop Emeritus of Bordeaux, who on November 7 acknowledged that he had abused a minor when he was a parish priest. 

“Given the elements that have arisen in recent days, and after Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard’s statement, in order to complete the examination of what happened, it was decided to open an investigatio previa [prior investigation] and, at present, we are assessing the most ideal person to head it, with the necessary autonomy, impartiality and experience, taking into account also that the French judicial authorities have opened a file on this case,” said the Holy See’s spokesman. 

The Church’s present practice is not to initiate a canonical process until that of the civil justice is first concluded. In fact, the outcome of a trial in the non-ecclesiastical realm forms part of canonical processes. 

Up to today, Cardinal Ricard has the right to participate in a Conclave, with the ability to vote, as he is 78 years old. Cardinals do not have the right to vote once they reach the age of 80. 

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