Cardinal convicted of covering up abuse
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/07/19, 11:50 am
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin on Thursday said he will offer his resignation to Pope Francis after a French court convicted him of failing to report child sexual abuse. The court in Lyon handed down a six-month suspended sentence against Barbarin for not alerting authorities of accusations against the Rev. Bernard Preynat between July 2014 and June 2015. In a brief statement, Barbarin expressed his “compassion” for the victims and said he will offer his resignation to the pope in a few days. Barbarin’s lawyer said he plans to appeal the conviction.
Last week, an Australian court confirmed Cardinal George Pell was convicted in December of molesting two choirboys. Pell is the most senior Catholic cleric to face abuse allegations. Several other cardinals have resigned after being implicated in the church’s sexual abuse crisis. The pope last month defrocked U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who left public ministry after numerous men accused him of molesting them when they were children, seminarians, or young priests. In October 2018, McCarrick’s successor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, resigned his post as archbishop of Washington, D.C., amid accusations he mishandled sexual abuse cases as a bishop in Pittsburgh earlier in his career. Wuerl retained his position in the Vatican College of Cardinals, which selects the pope.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.