Trial of Philippe Barbarin © Pierre-Antoine Pluquet (CBA)
Nearly nine months ago, Cardinal Barbarin was convicted of failing to report cases of abuse. The archbishop has appealed. He does not see himself as guilty. "Errors," on the other hand, he probably concedes.
Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 69, who was convicted of failing to denounce a clergyman, continues to consider himself not "guilty" of the following. In his appeal, which began today (Thursday), he did admit to "errors," French media report from Lyon. However, he had not spoken of "guilt" in the legal sense.
Suspected cases of abuse not reported
Barbarin had been sentenced in March to a six-month suspended sentence. He had not reported a priest who allegedly sexually abused numerous minors between 1970 and 1991. In France, there is a mandatory obligation to report suspected cases of abuse to the judiciary. Barbarin appealed the ruling at the time.
In the appeal, Barbarin testified that he never confronted the accused priest about what exactly he had done to the children. This, however, he asked one of the victims, Alexandre Hezez, who revealed to him. Barbarin characterized the accused priest's case at the hearing as a "monstrous" special case.
Trial to begin in January 2020
The cleric, whose acts Barbarin had not reported between 1970 and 1991, was dismissed from the clergy in July 2019. On 13. His trial starts in January. Before the hearing, Barbarin's lawyer told French media he was confident he could secure an acquittal for his client. Since the guilty verdict, Barbarin has rested his post as Archbishop of Lyon. Pope Francis had rejected an offer to resign, citing the "presumption of innocence".