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Cardinal Barbarin is absolved of crime of covering up abuses

The court of appeal in Lyon absolved French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of the crime of covering up abuses.

In March 2019, a French court sentenced the cardinal to six months in prison for not having denounced a pedophile priest in his diocese.

At that point, the cardinal again claimed he was innocent, but he presented his resignation from his position as archbishop of Lyon.

March 7, 2019
“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 pope asked him to suspend his decision until the sentence was made definitive. In the meantime, the pope named a new apostolic administrator of the diocese.

Upon hearing of his absolution, the cardinal insisted he still intends to resign as archbishop of Lyon.

The abuses were committed against eight minors between 1985 and 1991. The cardinal found out more than 20 years later, in 2014, when the victims had already gone to civil authorities.

Philippe Barbarin took the report to the Vatican to have the abuser removed from the priesthood.