“Return to the calm after the storm”

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin © Pierre-Antoine Pluquet (CBA)

Archbishop of Lyon, who left early, gets new job: Cardinal Philippe Barbarin will serve as pastor in Brittany in the future. On Sunday, his farewell mass will be celebrated in Lyon.

From July, he will be a domestic chaplain at the headquarters of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor (Petites soeurs des pauvres) in Saint Pern, near Rennes, as he told radio station LFC Lyon on Thursday. At the personal request of the archbishop of Rennes, Pierre d'Ornellas, he will also teach at the seminary there.

Barbarin wants to start new chapter

Barbarin will be bidden farewell Sunday during a Mass at Lyon Cathedral. In March, he had resigned from his post as archbishop. A French appeals court had acquitted him in January of charges of failing to report sexual abuse. Nevertheless, he made his post available to give the Archdiocese of Lyon the opportunity to start a new chapter, as the cardinal explained at the time.

"My true vocation is to be a priest," the cardinal stressed. In addition to church services, this includes close contact with the faithful. He was also "very pleased" with the "return to calm after the storm".

Mission trips to the Middle East not ruled out

However, the cardinal also did not rule out still being sent on missionary trips to the Middle East by Pope Francis. "He told me that he wanted me to be available for missions in countries I know well, like Iraq, Lebanon or Israel," Barbarin said. However, he added, there has not yet been a concrete assignment.

Pope Francis gave the leadership of the archdiocese on a transitional basis to the former bishop of Evry-Corbeille-Essonnes, Michel Dubost (78). Barbarin herself was received by Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican in late May. There was no information on the content of the meeting.

Barbarin is one of six French cardinals and, as Archbishop of Lyon, also held the honorary title of Primate of Gaul.

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