French Cardinal convicted of clerical abuse cover-up wins appeal

French Cardinal convicted of clerical abuse cover-up wins appeal January 30, 2020
Image via YouTube

OUTRAGE is being expressed in France and beyond following news today (Thursday) that Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, above, Archbishop of Lyon, has won his appeal against his six-month suspended sentence for covering up clerical abuse.

Barbarin was convicted last March and given a six-month suspended sentence for failing to report abusive priest Bernard Preynat to the police.

Following the verdict, many took to Twitter to express their disappointment.

Tweeted @MiKohiyama, President of an association of victims of sexual violence:

It’s a dark day for the victims of #Pedocriminality and for the fight against silence in the church.

Nicolas Gavrilenko, of the Union of Secular Families tweeted:

Were crimes committed? Yes, Preynat acknowledged it. Did Barbarin know? Yes, Preynat confessed to him. Is not reporting a crime an offence? Yes. Were the facts prescribed? No. Has Barbarin been sentenced? No. Shameful.

In a piece yet to be published by the National Secular Society which financially supported Barbarin’s prosecution, NSS President Keith Porteous Wood commented:

This disturbing verdict appears to make church officials all-but immune from prosecution for failure to report knowledge of wholesale abuse by those responsible to them. The verdict also discourages reporting of abuse which allows it to continue and perpetrators to escape justice for decades – and sometimes for ever.

Research has shown that it can take some victims more than thirty years to make a claim. In the light of this, France’s Mandatory Reporting law needs to be focussed on those in institutions as advocated by Mandate Now! and the statute of limitation for reporting needs to be removed. We will work with our sister organisation in France, Libre Pensee, to try to change the law to properly protect victims.

Image via YouTube

Preynat, above, the now-defrocked priest at the centre of the scandal, described to a court at his trial earlier this month how he systematically abused boys over two decades as a French scout chaplain.

Preynat said his superiors knew about his ”abnormal” behaviour as far back as the 1970s.

Had the church sidelined me earlier, I would have stopped earlier.

Preynat, now 74, faces up to 10 years in prison in what is France’s biggest clergy sex abuse trial to date. He’s suspected of abusing around 75 boys, but his testimony suggests the overall number could be even higher. A verdict is expected in March.

The case against Barbarin hinged on a 2014 discussion with victim Alexandre Hezez, who told the cardinal about the sexual abuse he had suffered in the 1980s by Preynat during scout camps. Hezez felt the priest should no longer lead a parish.

A court had initially ruled that Barbarin, “in wanting to avoid scandal caused by the facts of multiple sexual abuses committed by a priest … preferred to take the risk of preventing the discovery of many victims of sexual abuse by the justice system, and to prohibit the expression of their pain”.

But the legal battle is not over just yet for Barbarin. Just a few hours after the verdict was announced, the plaintiffs said they are challenging the ruling before France’s Court of Cassation.

Lawyer Jean Boudot said:

The appeal was filed. The interpretation made by the court of appeal seems to be completely questionable in law.

When Barbarin first came to trial he offered his resignation to Pope Francis. But the Pope refused Barbarin’s offer to quit, saying he wanted to wait until the appeals process is complete.

Despite his acquittal today, Barbarin said he will tender his resignation again.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • igotbanned999

    I read it as ‘Barbarian’ at first

  • DeadBabyJoke

    It phucking figures. God-phucking-damn-it.

  • Lauren Greene

    Fecking kiddy-diddlers and their enablers should be castrated.

  • Clancy

    With a hammer.

  • Lauren Greene

    I like the way you think.

  • Lauren Greene

    Gary Whiffinfart woke up with me on his senile69 mind this morning.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    He’s the little prick69 who got banned from FA. I’m STILL pissed69 off about that.

  • Lauren Greene

    I don’t blame you. He’s doing his best to try and get me banned. What a miserable excuse for a human being he is.

  • Is he still rabbiting on about “civility”?

  • At FA, they have a tendency to ban the decent commenters (like me) and let the edgelords and sh!tposters run free.

  • I was thinking a dull, rusty spoon.

  • Lauren Greene

    Wow. That dude is a mess.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    That pisses69 me off. @$$holes like Gary Whittenberger should be banned, not us.

  • Clancy

    Why not both?

  • DeadBabyJoke

    Probably. It’s all he has since he can’t back up his nonsensical bullshit69, like his views on abortion. (That’s what we were “debating” when I got banned.) He kept repeating his lies and assertions, even when everyone, myself included, pointed out why he was wrong. So I started insulting and mocking him, because he wouldn’t listen to logic or reason. I was banned shortly afterwards.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    No, they need to use thermonuclear suppositories. Preparation H-bomb!

  • DeadBabyJoke

    Or a bomb in a dick69. He won’t know whether he’s coming or going!

  • Lauren Greene

    Hilarious.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    Both this and the Preparation H-bomb are George Carlin references.

  • Lauren Greene

    Your quick wit enhances my brownies. Or is it the other way around?

  • DeadBabyJoke

    I’m too high to know for sure. LOL.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    LOL. A few people have said that.

  • Yeah.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    I wish there was a way to get HIM banned. See how he likes it.

  • Lauren Greene

    Awesome!

  • Lauren Greene

    Wake and bake.

  • Lauren Greene

    I see that now. What a shame.

  • Lauren Greene

    I have to wonder if he’s a financial contributor to the blog or something. I began to suspect something was up when he “warned” another commenter who defied him not to be “uncivil.” He’s an angry old man.

  • Lauren Greene

    My last words to him this morning were to the effect that his anger is unhealthy and he must miss his prison job cuz it was a power trip for him. Then I told him I was done with him. His malignant narcissism will compel him to come back at me but that’s okay – any e-mail notification I get to do with him will be met with a chuckle and deleted unread.

  • Lauren Greene

    He’s a sad old man who feels irrelevant.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    That’s basically what happened to me.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    HA! You show that irrelevelant, narcissistic, tone-trolling dipshit69!

  • DeadBabyJoke

    And someone that NOBODY likes.

  • DeadBabyJoke
  • Lauren Greene

    You got banned, too? Damn shame.

  • Lauren Greene

    No one likes him – that is crystal clear.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    It’s not hard to see why.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    I wondered why I hadn’t seen you on FA. Now I know why.

  • Lauren Greene

    Ain’t that the truth!

  • Lauren Greene

    Hahaha!!!

  • DeadBabyJoke

    Moral Orel is one of the funniest and darkest cartoons that I’ve ever watched.

  • Lauren Greene

    I’m not familiar with it. Could be because of my age?

  • DeadBabyJoke

    Maybe. Here’s a page about Moral Orel from a website called TV Tropes: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/MoralOrel

  • Lauren Greene

    That is something I’d like to watch.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    I thought that I was posting a YouTube page that had full episodes of Moral Orel, but I was wrong.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    It’s a great show. I’ve watched the entire series.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    I was actually reading that TV Tropes page earlier in the day. That’s what made me remember that song that I posted to you earlier.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    Here’s the full first episode:
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x277uku

  • Lauren Greene

    Thanks! I’ll check it out later.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    You’re welcome. I think that you’ll enjoy the series.

  • Lauren Greene

    I’m green with envy – pun not intended.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    LOL. Try visiting Oregon sometime. We got some good shit69.

  • Lauren Greene

    Visit? Ha! I’d like to live there.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    It’s not a bad state to live in. I’ve lived in Oregon for about 21-22 years now.

  • DeadBabyJoke
  • Lauren Greene

    Which part, if you don’t mind me asking?

  • Lauren Greene

    Because of COPD I can’t inhale any longer but I can EAT!

  • DeadBabyJoke
  • DeadBabyJoke

    Southern Oregon. In Douglas county.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    LOL. At least there are edibles.

  • Lauren Greene

    Yes, indeed…and what a disappointment it was when the Amazon driver delivered my brownie mix to the wrong address yesterday.

  • Lauren Greene

    I googled it. What a beautiful state altogether.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    It is. Outside of my town are a bunch of waterfalls, parks, nature trails, etc.

  • Lauren Greene

    Sounds like secular heaven.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    It is pretty nice. But I don’t have a way of getting out there because I don’t have a car.

  • Lauren Greene

    Right now, I don’t have one either. I’ve thought about buying another truck but I’m not comfortable driving in the city I currently live in.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    I just can’t afford to buy and maintain a vehicle.

  • Lauren Greene

    I’m on a tight budget myself.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    It’d be nice to have a vehicle, but I doubt that will happen.

  • Lauren Greene

    Well, I hope it happens for you.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    I hope so too. It’d be nice and useful to have.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    My mom is, unfortunately. At least she’s the only member in my immediate family who’s a Deplorable.

  • Lauren Greene

    I have no idea if my own supports him or not – she is a southern baptist in the buy-bull belt so chances are good she’s a deplorable.