Card. Barbarin sentenced to six months in prison for failing to denounce pedophile priest
The Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment for failing to report a pedophile priest in his diocese.
The priest was Bernard Preynat. He had abused eight minors between 1986 and 1991. According to the courts, Cardinal Barbarin knew about this from 2014 and yet he kept the priest in his post until 2015.
The prosecution considered the statute of limitations for the offenses had expired; and did not pursue the case further.
However, Lyon Criminal Court has ruled otherwise. For this reason, they have sentenced the cardinal to six months imprisonment. He will not have to serve this time behind bars though.
Shortly after learning of the sentence, the cardinal announced he will travel to Rome in the next few days to present his resignation to Pope Francis.
CARD. PHILIPPE BARBARIN
"I take note of the Court's decision. Regardless of what happens to me, I reiterate my compassion for the victims and their families, to whom I assure my prayers. I have decided to go to the Holy Father to present my resignation. He will receive me in a few days."
The cardinal's lawyers have announced that they will appeal the sentence. Philippe Barbarin says he knew nothing of the abuses until 2014, when one of the victims told him in person.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is the highest authority in the Church in France that has been prosecuted for not denouncing a case of child abuse.