Abbot Bernard Preynat, 73, was found guilty of sexually abusing minors and has been dismissed from the clerical state, reported “Vatican News” on July 4, 2019, quoting a press release of the Lyon’s Ecclesiastical Tribunal, published by the Conference of Bishops of France. Father Preyant abused some 70 minors, in the 70s and 80s, in his own scout group: the Saint Luke scouts at Sainte-Foy-les-Lyon.
This case resulted in the withdrawal of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon since 2002, questioned in 2016 for the “non-denunciation” of sexual abuses and declared guilty, on March 7, 2019, of “non-denunciation of mistreatments of a minor between 2014 and 2015.” He has appealed the sentence.
Father Bernard Preynat “was found guilty of criminal acts of a sexual character on minors younger than 16,” reads the press release. “In regard to the facts and their recurrence, of the great number of victims, of the fact that Abbot Bernard Preynat abused the authority that his position conferred on him within a scout group that he founded and directed since its creation, assuming the twofold responsibility of head chaplain, the Tribunal decided to apply to him the maximum penalty of Church Law in such a case, namely, dismissal from the clerical state.”
After pronouncing its verdict, the Ecclesiastical Tribunal will now “dedicate itself more completely to the study of each of the victims’ requests for financial reparation.”