In a March 2016 press conference, Cardinal
Barbarin stated that, "thanks to God", most of the abuses fall under the statute of limitations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Police raided the offices of Lyon Cardinal
Philippe Barbarin on March 30 to search for information related to the case of Fr Bernard Preynat, charged with “sexual aggression and rape of minors” between 1986 and 1991 at Lyon’s
Saint-Luc parish, where he ran a large Catholic Scout group over two decades.
“The investigators conducted a search, and the Lyon Archdiocese was made to hand over items sought by the justice authorities,” the cardinal’s office said in a statement after the search.
“The cardinal has many times expressed his willingness to cooperate in full transparency with the judicial process and confidently remains at its disposal, hoping the authorities will
calmly reveal the truth and allay the suffering of victims.”
France’s Catholic La Croix daily said Cardinal Barbarin met at his residence with family members of Fr Preynat’s victims on March 26.
“The cardinal communicates via his lawyers on judicial questions and via his advisory council in relations with journalists,” an unnamed Lyon Church official told La Croix on March 30.
“But his words to victims, his requests for forgiveness, his press communiques come directly from him. There’s no ambiguity about his compassion, his support for victims and his will to
French newspapers said Fr Preynat had been moved to a new parish after his crimes were reported to then-Cardinal Albert Decourtray, but the priest was only withdrawn from parish work last
In January, the archdiocese said Cardinal Barbarin had launched an inquiry after first hearing a victim’s testimony in the summer of 2014. However, in a February 10 La Croix interview,
the cardinal admitted he had heard about the priest’s activities at least six years earlier, but taken no action after the priest assured him he had not committed further offences.
A group of 45 abuse survivors, La Parole Liberee, is suing Cardinal Barbarin for “endangering life” and failing to report abuse, a crime that carries a three-year jail term under
France’s penal code. Similar lawsuits have also been filed against three Lyon archdiocesan staffers and Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine of
TOP FRENCH CARDINAL HID PAEDOPHILE SCOUT PRIEST
One of France's most prominent cardinals knew about a pedophile priest
abusing young Catholic Scouts—and now the alleged cover-up will be tried in secular courts.
ROME — For all those who say that the Catholic Church is doing all it can on clerical child sex
abuse—namely the Vatican press office—there is yet another reason to doubt those lofty words. Meet the Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who has denied he did anything
wrong by hiding the well-known fact that Father Bernard Preynat was sexually abusing as many as 40 Catholic Scouts in France in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Preynat was relieved of his duties in the parish of Roanne in 2015 after admitting to the sex abuse. He
was indicted on Jan. 27 on charges of “sexual abuse and rape of minors” and has admitted his crimes to the police.
The 45 Scout victims who lodged the complaint that led to Preynat’s arrest share horrifically similar
stories of abuse. “He would say ‘tell me you love me’. And then he would say ‘you're my little boy,’ ‘it’s our secret, you mustn’t tell anyone,’” one of Preynat’s victims said,
according to criminal
A victim named Pierre-Emmanuel Germain-Thill described to Euronews how the priest preyed on the young
boys. “What shocked me the most was when he tried to put his tongue in my mouth. He stroked my genitals, I couldn’t avoid it,” Germain-Thill said, according to press reports.
“I wanted to run away, and at the same time, I didn’t know what to do, I was afraid that if I left that
room, nobody would believe me.”
Another victim, Bertrand Virieux, told Euronews, “I
remember the smell of sweat, I remember contact with clothes. I remember his wandering hands under my shirt, which held me tightly against him.”
Meanwhile, Cardinal Barbarin is facing criminal charges by a French secular court for “failing to report
a crime” and “endangering the life of others,” which could carry a three-year prison sentence and fines up to €45,000. He maintains that he shouldn’t be accused at all because he
eventually removed Preynat from parish work.
Never mind that the removal came nearly 15 years after his crimes were made known. After victims and
their families came forward in 1991, Preynat was removed him from parish duties for six months by the then-archbishop, who is now deceased. Yet despite having confessed to the crimes,
Preynat was allowed to return to his active duties after he repented, meaning he had access to children despite admitting to being a pedophilic sex offender.
When Barbarin was appointed as archbishop, he even promoted the errant priest to an administrative
position in 2007 where he was in charge of six dioceses filled with children, according to court documents quoted in the French press.
Barbarin, who is well liked in France despite his harsh stance against gay marriage (which he once
predicted would pave the way to legalized incest), removed Preynat from the priesthood last August when secular authorities got involved—25 years after his crimes had first
The cardinal is now arguing that he should not be criminally charged because he was not archbishop at the
time of Preynat’s crimes, and that he did eventually remove the priest from active duty. But it is not enough to remove an errant priest from a parish or even defrock him, argue
victims groups. David Clohessy, head of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says any child sex-abuse offender should be turned over to secular authorities
immediately and should be remanded in prison whether they wear a clerical collar or not.
“Hundreds of bishops have been publicly exposed as having protected predators, endangered kids, deceiving
parishioners, misleading police, destroying evidence, intimidating victims, threatening whistleblowers, and discrediting witnesses and suffer no consequences,” Clohessy told The Daily
The Vatican has always rightly maintained that paedophiles are not restricted to the priesthood. But the
difference has always been that abusers in every other sector, from education to medicine, almost always immediately face secular court justice. There are no other professional
institutions that systematically hide predators from authorities to the same extent the Catholic Church does. As the Oscar-winning film Spotlight showed, the
complicity of not only the clerics but often the entire community—under pressure from the powerful Catholic churches that support community activities and run schools—is why the cycle
is still so hard to break, despite the Vatican’s efforts.
That’s why when cases like Barbarin’s make it to the secular court, they underscore just how rare that
action is. And that’s why when Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held
Cardinal George Pell’s feet to the fireseveral weeks ago—for his alleged oversight of abuse in that country—victims were angry that it took so long to happen.
Very little to say - except that the Church and its senior officials are still covering up abuse.
Bishops who do so should go to prison - starting with Cardinal Barbarin of Lyon.