France: Disgraced archbishop gives last mass

Cardinal Barbarin Last Mass

Title: France: Disgraced archbishop gives last mass

Author: Cindi Cook

Publisher: Anadolu Agency AA

Date: 29JUN2020

Lyon’s Cardinal Barbarin offers his last service to the faithful who cared to attend mass on Sunday morning


Lyon Archbishop Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said his last mass at Saint Jean Cathedral on Sunday morning after being at the center of a storm for failing to report the actions of one of his priests.

The cleric had been brought down in a scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in France starting in 2019 after ex-priest Bernard Preynat was the subject of multiple accusations of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Barbarin was the highest-profile cleric within the Catholic Church in France to face trial over the scandal. He has served for 17 years as Archbishop of Lyon.

Preynat, 74, stood trial in January for abusing dozens of young boys between 1971 and 1991 when he served as Boy Scout chaplain in the Sainte-Foy-les-Lyon region of eastern France. The boys were all between the ages of seven and 15 when the abuse occurred at the weekend camps organized by Preynat.

He was found guilty on March 16 and sentenced to five years in prison for his crimes. A Catholic tribunal had already defrocked him in July 2019.

Those who accused Preynat also charged the church leadership — of which Barbarin was a part — with covering up his acts, thereby allowing Preynat to remain in his position.

After learning about the transgressions from an accuser in 2014 and hearing even earlier rumors in 2010, Barbarin reported it to the Vatican. He did not, however, take the allegations to the local police.

In March of 2019, Barbarin was charged with covering up Preynat’s conduct and offered his resignation to Pope Francis in light of the increasing pressure

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