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Pope Francis accepts resignation of Archbishop of Paris

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Paris: Michel Aupetit. An apostolic administrator, Georges Pontier, will take his place until a successor is announced.

Archbishop Aupetit offered his resignation to Pope Francis because of “ambiguous behavior” with a woman, recently reported by the French press. The relationship is said to have taken place in 2012, before he was ordained a bishop.

Statement by Former Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit

"The Lord gave, the Lord took away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!"

This phrase from Job lives in me, as the Holy Father accepts my resignation. The painful events of the past week, about which I have already spoken, had led me to place my mission in the hands of Pope Francis in order to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust always provoke.

I have received this heavy burden from the Diocese of Paris and I have tried to fulfill it with fervor and dedication. I give thanks to God, who has always given me the gift of looking kindly at my fellow human beings and of love for people, which led me to the practice of medicine in the first place. Caring for others is something deeply rooted in me, and the difficulties of relationships do not affect it.

I am happy to have served this diocese with magnificent teams, clerics, lay people, consecrated persons, totally devoted to the service of Christ, of the Church and of their brothers. There are too many people to thank to make an exhaustive list.

The day I entered the seminary, I had no idea where it would lead me, but the trust in Jesus Christ that I had at the time continues to make me totally available to follow Him wherever He wants.

I was, of course, greatly disturbed by the attacks I was subjected to. Today, I thank God that my heart is deeply at peace. I thank the many, many people who have shown me their trust and affection over the past eight days. I pray for those who may have wished me ill, as Christ taught us to do, He who helps us beyond our poor strength. I ask forgiveness of those whom I might have hurt and I assure you all of my deep friendship and my prayer, which will always be yours.

The Diocese of Paris is filled with a deep dynamism. It is on the path to a new way of living out the fraternity derived from our common baptism, in a synodality without posturing between the different states of life. I have total confidence in what has been initiated with the Vicars General and the various councils that surround me. This momentum will not be lost and I ask everyone to work so that what has been started will be accomplished in the breath of the Holy Spirit.

I remain totally united with you and walk with you toward the fulfillment of Salvation.

I can only repeat the message of my very first homily: "Don't look at the Archbishop, look at Christ!"

Michel Aupetit