France (Thursday, March 7, 2019, Gaudium Press) Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, announced that he will hand in his resignation to Pope Francis in the next few days, after he was sentenced by French Justice, on March 7, 2019, to a six-month suspended prison sentence, for not denouncing sexual abuses.
The Cardinal made this statement a few hours after the guilty verdict. A decision that Rome expected, as the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, indicated, in a Tweet in French published at midday: “The Holy See Press Office expects the statement of @CardBarbarin at 1:00 pm at the diocesan house of @diocesedelyon.”
“I take note of the Court’s decision. Regardless of my own fate, I wish to reiterate first of all my compassion for the victims and the rightful place that they and their families have in my prayer,” said the Cardinal to the press.
“I’ve decided to go see the Holy Father to give him my decision. He will receive me in a few days,” he added.
Primate of the Gauls, appointed Archbishop of Lyon in 2002, he was accused in 2016 for not denouncing the sexual aggressions of Father Bernard Preynat, a priest of his diocese, which happened in the realm of scouting in the 70s and 80s.
The Cardinal’s lawyers announced that he will appeal the sentence.