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Bishop Michel Dubost © Lyon.Catholique.Fr

France: Bishop Michel Dubost Is Appointed Apostolic Administrator of Lyon

Cardinal Barbarin Remains the Official Archbishop

On June 24, 2019, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Michel Dubost, 77, “Apostolic Administrator” of the Archdiocese of Lyon. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who withdrew from the office of government three months ago, remains the official Archbishop, but his powers are delegated to the Administrator.

The Administrator, in fact, is appointed “sede plena (Full See) and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis,” as explained by the Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops. “In particular circumstance the Holy See can dispose in an extraordinary way that, in a diocese that has its own Bishop, an Apostolic Administrator be placed. In this case, the diocesan Bishop will collaborate, with what is remitted to him, for the full, free and serene accomplishment of the Apostolic Administrator’s mandate

To date, Bishop Dubost has been Bishop Emeritus of the diocese of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes. Ordained a priest on May 24, 1967, he was Vicar at Notre-Dame-de-Bercy; chaplain of the Saint-Jean-de-Bethune school at Versailles, then of colleges and lyceums at Versailles (1967-1975). In 1976, he became Secretary General of the Federation of Social Communication Organizations (FOCS), a post he held until 1982. Later, he was Director of chaplaincies of public education of the diocese of Paris (1982-1988).

In 1983, he was appointed parish priest of Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas parish in Paris. He was to remain there until 1989, when he was appointed Bishop of the diocese of the Armies on August 9, 1989, then Bishop of the diocese of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes in 2000, a post from which he resigned in 2017 because of age limit.

In the Roman Curia, Bishop Dubost is a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. In the Conference of Bishops of France, he is a member of the Commission for the Universal Mission with the title of Director of the O.P.M. and of the Council for Solidarity as accompanying Bishop of the CCCFD – Solidary Earth.

Hence, he will be in charge of the government of the Diocese of Lyon, troubled in these last years by the trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin. The Pope didn’t accept the Cardinal’s resignation, in virtue of the presumption of innocence; however, the Archbishop of Lyon decided last March 19 to withdraw from the government of his diocese for some time. The conduct of the diocese was entrusted to the Vicar General Moderator, Father Yves Baumgarten.

The Primate of the Gauls, appointed Archbishop of Lyons in 2002, has been questioned since 2016 for “non-denunciation” of the sexual aggressions of a priest of his Diocese, Father Bernard Preynat, who abused some 70 minors in the framework of scouting in the 70s and 80s (at the time of Cardinal Albert Decourtray whose immediate successors were the Archbishops Jean Balland and Louis-Marie Bille). Last March 7, the Cardinal was declared culpable “of non-denunciation of mistreatment of minors between 2014 and 2015,” and sentenced to a six-month suspended prison sentence. He appealed the sentence as well as to the Prosecutor’s Office of Lyon.

About Anne Kurian

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