French church lifts the veil on bishops’ sexual abuse cases

By Staff Writers
The Taipei Times
French church lifts the veil on bishops’ sexual abuse cases - Taipei Times

France’s Catholic church on Monday revealed that 11 former or serving French bishops have been accused of sexual violence or failing to report abuse cases, including a cardinal who confessed to assaulting a girl decades ago.

In a shock revelation, Bishops’ Conference of France president Eric de Moulins-Beaufort told reporters that some of the high-ranking church officials faced criminal prosecution, or a church tribunal, or both.

Among them is Jean-Pierre Ricard, a long-standing bishop of Bordeaux who was made a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016, and who had admitted to a “reprehensible” act on a 14-year-old, De Moulins-Beaufort said.

“Thirty-five years ago, when I was a priest, I behaved in a reprehensible way towards a girl of 14,” Ricard wrote in a message to the conference read out by De Moulins-Beaufort.

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