We use our own and third party cookies to improve your user experience; by continuing to browse, we understand that you accept their use. You can get more information on our cookies policy.

Rome Reports

You are using an outdated browser

In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater

Pope on Paris Archbishop's resignation: Hypocritical not to accept sinful bishops

On his return flight from Athens to Rome, Pope Francis explained the context behind the resignation of the Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, due to his relationship with a woman. 

"He failed to uphold the Sixth Commandment, only partially. Through little caresses and massages he gave to his secretary, this is the accusation."

The Pope emphasized that sins against chastity are not the most serious sins, and that even the first Pope, St. Peter, was a sinner. 

"And how did the community of that time accept a sinful bishop? And he had a sin of great 'angelcality' that is denying Christ, but it was a normal Church, it was accustomed to feeling like a sinner, always, everyone, it was a humble Church. You can see that our Church is not used to having a sinful bishop, and we pretend that our bishops are saints. No. That's like 'Little Red Riding Hood.' We are all sinners."

He went on to explain that it was the gossip surrounding the former archbishop of Paris that created the need for a change.

"He lost his reputation not because of his sin, which is sin—like Peter's, like mine, like yours, it is sin—but because of the chatter of the people responsible for talking about things. A man who has had his fame taken from him so publicly cannot govern, and that is an injustice. That is why I accepted Aupetit's resignation, not on the altar of truth but on the altar of hypocrisy."

The Pope received the resignation of the former Archbishop of Paris on November 26 and accepted it on December 2, the first day of his trip to Cyprus.