Waiting until the trial

Waiting until the trial

The priest accused of abuse in the film "Grace a Dieu", Bernard Preynat, wants to prevent the film from being released in cinemas. The trial has not yet taken place, and the presumption of innocence applies until a verdict is reached.

The lawyer of the priest Bernard Preynat justifies the postponement of the publication with the preservation of the presumption of innocence, reports the channel "Franceinfo". A hearing will be held this Friday in Paris; the theatrical release of "Grace a Dieu" (Praise be to God) is scheduled for Wednesday (20. February) planned.

Court case not yet started

The film takes a look at sexual abuse in the church from the perspective of the victims. Through three adults, director Francois Ozon shows how the abuse they experienced as scouts or altar boys affected their lives. The story is based on the accounts of alleged abuse victims from Lyon.

However, the trial of Preynat, accused of abuse, has not yet taken place. He therefore demands the postponement of the release of the film.

Ten abuse cases admitted

The film's three producers, "Mandarin Productions," "Mars Films" and "France 3," cite freedom of expression and public interest as counter-arguments. At the end of the film, it is also specified that the priest is considered innocent until the court has judged. Preynat had also admitted to being responsible for about ten cases.

For director Ozon, postponing the theatrical release would be a "disaster for the image of the church". According to him, the silence had already lasted "long enough". In his opinion, the film was an "opportunity" for the church.

"Thank God a large part of the deeds are time-barred"

In January, a trial took place against, among others, Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin for not reporting the cases shown in the film. After the hearing, the prosecution opposed a conviction of the cardinal; the verdict is expected on 7. March fall.

The film's title is taken from a March 2016 quote by Cardinal Barbarin. At the time, he had said, "Thanks be to God (grace a Dieu), a large part of the acts are statute-barred."

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