Pope Francis defends retaining French cardinal convicted of covering up sex abuse – National

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Pope Francis on Sunday defended his resolution to reject the resignation of Philippe Barbarin, the French Roman Catholic cardinal convicted on prices of failing to report sexual abuse.

Chatting with reporters on the airplane getting back from a two-day journey to Morocco, Francis stated he was obliged to offer the archbishop of Lyon the good thing about the doubt till his attraction is heard.

“I can’t settle for it as a result of in juridical phrases, in basic world jurisprudence, there’s the presumption of innocence so long as the case is open, and he has appealed,” Francis stated.

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Barbarin supplied his resignation when he met the pope on March 18.

A court docket in Lyon dominated on March 7 that between July 2014 and June 2015, Barbarin coated up allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts within the 1980s and early 1990s by a priest who is because of go on trial later this yr.

Barbarin, 68, the highest-profile cleric to be caught up within the baby intercourse abuse scandal contained in the French Church, acquired a six-month suspended jail sentence. He has denied the allegations and launched an attraction.

“When the second court docket arms down its resolution, then we’ll see what is going to occur. However we should all the time have the presumption of innocence. That is essential as a result of it goes past the superficial condemnation by the media,” the pope stated.

“Possibly he isn’t harmless, however the presumption (of innocence) have to be there,” the pope stated.

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The Barbarin trial put one in all Europe’s most senior clergymen within the highlight at a time when the pope is grappling with criticism over the Church’s response to a decades-long sexual international abuse disaster.

Barbarin has stepped apart briefly pending the attraction and has handed over the day-to-day working of the diocese to a vicar basic.

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He has stated he would stay head of the dioceses in title and would proceed to log out on paperwork till the attraction course of is over.

The Church’s credibility has been broken in a lot of the world by abuse scandals in nations together with Eire, Chile, Australia, France, the US and Poland, paying billions of in damages to victims and forcing parishes to shut.

The scandals have reached the higher echelons of the Vatican itself with the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, jailed this month for six years for abusing boys in his native Australia. He had served because the Vatican treasurer and a member of the pope‘s innermost council of cardinals till his conviction final yr.

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