Keyword: Bernard Preynat
A conviction and six-month suspended jail sentence handed last year to Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 69, archbishop of Lyon, for failing to inform the authorities about evidence of child sex abuse by a priest under his authority was overturned on appeal on Thursday, although an association of victims said they would in turn appeal the ruling.
François Ozon’s film Grace a Dieu (By the Grace of God), which tells the real-life story of how Catholic priest Bernard Preynat sexually abused young scouts the 1980s and early 1990s, opened in French cinema theatres on Wednesday after a Paris court ruled against a last-minute attempt by Preynat, who has yet to be tried, to halt its distribution, and also against a demand by a psychologist and member of the Lyon diocese that her name should be removed.
The Catholic Church in France has developed a system of quietly moving priests suspected of sex abuse to other areas or jobs, Mediapart can reveal. The method, aimed at avoiding or damping down local scandals without telling the judicial authorities, includes sending the priests concerned on sabbatical leave, to remote rural parishes, to jobs as archivists or as chaplains for the elderly, or in some cases despatching them to far-flung parishes in Africa and Asia. Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martiniere and Mathieu Périsse report.
In recent weeks a paedophilia scandal has engulfed the diocese of Lyon in eastern France. A Catholic priest is said to have abused dozens of boy scouts who were in his care, while the cardinal at the head of the diocese has been forced to deny covering up the affair. The scandal came to light largely thanks to the work of a group of victims who joined together and set up an association to break the silence surrounding the abuse. In the space of just three months this group has brought to light not just the scandal in Lyon, but has also unearthed other potential affairs. Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière and Mathieu Périsse report.