Pope Francis received Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, this morning, March 18, 2019, in the Vatican. The Cardinal tendered his resignation to the Holy Father, as he announced on March 7, after his sentence, by French Justice, to a suspended six-month prison sentence, for not denouncing sexual abuses.
The Holy See has not yet published the Pope’s decision to accept or reject this resignation.
“I note the Court’s decision. Regardless of my personal fate, I wish to express first of all my compassion for the victims and the place they and their families have in my prayer,” said the Cardinal to the press, adding that he “decided to go see the Holy Father to tender him my resignation. He will receive me in a few days.”
The Primate of the Gauls, appointed Archbishop of Lyon in 2002, was accused in 2016 for not denouncing the sexual aggressions of Father Bernard Preynat, a priest of his diocese, who abused some 70 minors, in the framework of scouting in the 70s and 80s. The Cardinal was declared guilty for “not denouncing the bad treatment of a minor between 2014 and 2015.”
The Cardinal has appealed the sentence, as well as to the Lyon Prosecutor’s Office. It is the “usual practice,” clarified the Republic’s Prosecutor, to “give the Court the possibility to revoke the affair in its totality.”