“Cardinal Philippe Barbarin to stand trial in sex scandal cover-up case” & related articles

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La Croix International

April 5, 2018

La Croix International staff
France

A French cardinal and a high-ranking Vatican official are to stand trial for allegedly covering up a child sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Lyon.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and five other Catholic Church officials are to appear in court for allegedly being informed of a priest’s past abuses and not reporting them to authorities.

A Lyon court on April 4 set the date to Jan. 7-9, 2019 for the criminal trial, the most prominent church sex abuse case to date in France, reports the Associated Press.

The case was earlier postponed because Archbishop Ladaria Ferrer’s subpoena and some of the case materials were not  translated in due time into Spanish and Italian.

Cardinal Barbarin and some of the other defendants stand accused of leaving the priest in contact with children, knowing he had a history of sexual assault. The priest retired in 2015.

The cardinal has admitted to some “mistakes” in the management and nomination of certain priests but has denied any attempt to cover up the case, the report said.

If convicted, the defendants could face up to three years in prison and a 45,000-euro ($53,000) fine. The penalty would be increased to up to five years in prison and a 75,000-euro fine for failing to help a person in danger.

The victims, now in their 30s and 40s, claimed that Father Bernard Preynat sexually abused them when they were boy scouts aged between 7 and 12 in the Lyon region between 1986 and 1991.

This was before Barbarin was appointed archbishop of Lyon in 2002.

Other abuses by the same priest were reported to local church officials and judicial authorities but he could not be taken to court because of the statute of limitations.

Preynat, now in his 70s, has confessed his wrongdoings.

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French cardinal to go on trial accused of covering up sex abuse

Christian Today

Thu 5 Apr 2018 8:47 BST

A French cardinal and other senior Catholic Church officials will go on trial accused of covering up sex abuse in what will be France’s highest profile abuse case.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, head of the Vatican’s powerful doctrine office, and five other Catholic Church officials will appear before a criminal court in Lyon in January next year.

Cardinal BarbarinReuters   Cardinal Barbarin’s Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon acknowledged shortcomings in his response to a paedophilia scandal in his archdiocese and said more rigorous checks were in place to prevent past errors in the appointment of priests being repeated.

Victims of a paedophile priest, Father Bernard Preynat, say the Catholic leaders knew about Preynat’s past abuses but did not report them to the authorities.

Preynat is accused of sexual aggression and rape of a minor and accused of abusing boy scouts in the 1980s. He was charged in January of with sexual aggression of minors for a person in a position of authority.

Cardinal Barbain said he was convinced the priest had reformed in 2007-2008 when they met. He admitted some ‘mistakes’ had been made but denied any attempt to cover up the abuse.

However he said he understood their anger.

‘Their suffering is as painful today as it was 30 years ago. For them, it is appalling and unacceptable that he was allowed to carry on serving as a priest,’ Barbarin told Le Monde newspaper in August.

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French cardinal to stand trial in sex abuse cover-up case

ABC News

PARIS — Apr 4, 2018, 1:25 PM ET

Philippe BarbarinThe Associated Press

FILE – In this Aug.15, 2016 file photo, French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, attends to a mass for the Feast of the Assumption at the sanctuary of Lourdes, southwestern France. A French court has set a date in early next year for the criminal trial of a French cardinal and a high-ranking Vatican prelate suspected of covering up a child sex abuse scandal in the eastern diocese of Lyon. (AP Photo/Bob Edme, File)

A French court has set a date in early 2019 for the criminal trial of a French cardinal and a high-ranking Vatican prelate suspected of covering up a child sex abuse scandal in the eastern diocese of Lyon.

Victims of a priest who has confessed to preying on them have summoned Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, head of a powerful office in the Vatican, and five other Catholic Church officials to appear together in court for allegedly being informed of the priest’s past abuses and not reporting them to authorities.

A Lyon court on Wednesday set the trial to January 7-9. The lawsuit is the most prominent church sex abuse case to date in France.

Barbarin and some of the other defendants will also be tried for leaving the priest in contact with children until he retired in 2015, while knowing he had a history of sexual assaults.

The 67-year-old cardinal, one of the highest-ranking figures in the French Catholic Church, has admitted some “mistakes” in the management and nominations of certain priests but denied any attempt to cover up the case. Pope Francis has lent his support to Barbarin, saying he was a “brave” man.

The seven defendants, including another archbishop and a bishop, would face up to three years in prison and a 45,000-euro ($53,000) fine if found guilty of failing to report the priest’s crimes. The penalty would be increased to up to five years in prison and a 75,000-euro ($88,000) fine for those convicted of failing to assist a person in danger.

The victims, most of them now in their 30s and 40s, have claimed a local priest, Rev. Bernard Preynat, sexually abused them when they were boy scouts aged between 7 and 12 in the Lyon region between 1986 and 1991, well before Barbarin was appointed archbishop of Lyon in 2002.

Dozens of older abuses by the same priest were reported to local Church officials and judicial authorities but couldn’t give rise to legal complaints because of the statute of limitations.

Preynat, now in his 70s, confessed his wrongdoings in letters to victims’ parents and meetings with his superiors, including Barbarin. His last known abuses were in 1991.

A separate criminal investigation is still ongoing on Preynat who was given preliminary charges of sexual assaults on minors. Judges have yet to send him to trial.

After the prosecutor’s office in Lyon dismissed the cover-up case in 2016, victims decided to summon Barbarin and others, their only way to force a trial.

Jean Boudot, a lawyer for a plaintiff, said the upcoming trial will hopefully help to put an end to the “culture of omerta” — an unwritten rule of silence — in the Church. “We do not want this to happen to others,” he told The Associated Press.

Emmanuelle Haziza, another plaintiff’s lawyer, insisted that “the Church has not yet fully realized the extent and seriousness of the phenomenon of pedophilia within it.”

“With this trial, we want to show that no one is above the law, help other victims to report sex crimes and detail the chain of responsibilities within the Church,” Haziza told the AP.

That’s why the victims also want Monsignor Ladaria to appear in court in Lyon next year. They say Barbarin sought advice on the Preynat case with the Roman prelate when he was the secretary, or number 2, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that processes and evaluates all cases of priests accused of raping or molesting minors.

In reply, Ladaria sent the cardinal a letter in 2015 to recommend keeping the priest away from children, “while avoiding any public scandal.” The letter is part of court documents in the case. The Vatican spokesman declined to comment on Ladaria being summoned to stand trial in France.

Ladaria has since been promoted prefect, or head, of the Congregation, becoming one of the highest ranking Church officials in the Vatican.

The much-publicized Preynat-Barbarin case led the French Church to take a series of measures to fight pedophilia among priests.

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Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to the report

6 Responses to “Cardinal Philippe Barbarin to stand trial in sex scandal cover-up case” & related articles

  1. Peter Love says:

    Frank at Imperial HQ has refused Barbarin’s resignation. The Cardinal says he will ‘step back for a little while” – whatever that means.

    Frank is a Jesuit; Jesuits are casuists; Frank is a casuist. This syllogism which I would think he would appreciate sums up in its entirety Frank’s attitude to truth; Keep on stream to the world a ceaseless barrage of GodTalk and all the while maintain a functionally atheistic and morally obtuse Church Order.

    In Frank’s casuist world order is one by which truth is a commodity to be proved, disproved or abandoned according to need.

    Can’t have it both ways Frank

  2. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Jorge, really???! You are a few days late in the “presumption of innocence” Did you not get the memo?
    Barbarin has been convicted in a French Court of Law.
    He’s done it once, and I suspect would do the exact same thing again if the circumstances present themselves.
    If a dog is rewarded with treats for misbehaviour, generally the behaviour will escalate and continue to become more and more serious.
    Human beings are no different. Mike.

  3. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Thanks Peter. You are as right a the morning sunrise. Mike.

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