Time for change?

Time for change?

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin © Pierre-Antoine Pluquet (KNA)

What moved French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin to offer his resignation to Pope Francis? In any case, he is said to have decided to resign even before his conviction for failing to report sexual assaults.

"It is not the judgment of Thursday, 7. March that led to his resignation, but the process itself," said Emmanuel Gobilliard, auxiliary bishop in Lyon, on Monday to the French newspaper "La Croix". A meeting between Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, and Pope Francis had been arranged more than two weeks ago, he said.

"Time to live a change"

"The victims have suffered too much, the diocese has suffered too much, it may be time to live a change," Barbarin is reported to have said to the auxiliary bishop. The resignation is for the "good of the diocese," Gobilliard said. Barbarin said she wanted to take a "real stock" at the Vatican. For the cardinal, the meeting with the Pope is "very important". For this reason he did not want the date to become known.

On Thursday, a court in Lyon had sentenced Cardinal Barbarin to six months probation for failing to report sexual assaults. Barbarin announced afterward that he would offer his resignation to the pope. In addition, Barbarin plans to appeal the verdict.

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