Pope Francis “Renewed His Support for Me”: Former Archbishop of Paris

In an interview with Vatican News on Feb. 4, 2022, Archbishop Aupetit said Pope Francis “renewed his support for me” and again said he thought the former archbishop of Paris had been a “victim of hypocrisy and clericalism.”

Newsroom (07/02/2022 1:00 PM Gaudium Press) Appointed Archbishop of Paris in 2017, Archbishop Michel Aupetit submitted his resignation from the pastoral government of the Archdiocese of Paris to Pope Francis, who accepted it on Dec. 2, 2021. The now archbishop emeritus of Paris is regularly present in Rome for meetings within the Congregation for Bishops.

Talking to Vatican News, Arch. Aupetit stated that “Pope Francis renewed his support for me after my resignation as Archbishop of Paris. He repeated that he considered me a victim of hypocrisy and clericalism. He was also keen to show his confidence by asking me to remain in the Roman Congregation for Bishops, of which, as you know, I am already a member, and where I come every fortnight.”

The Vatican Congregation for Bishops is the department of the Roman Curia responsible for identifying and selecting candidates for bishop before presenting them to the pope for a final decision.

“[During the meeting with Pope Francis], we spoke at length about the situation of the Church of France, which worries the Pope, and that of the diocese of Paris, as well as my projects, because I have some plans to accompany the numerous initiatives of young baptized lay people in the service of the poorest and the mission of evangelization, which are of great concern to the Pope,” – he noted.

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Aupetit submitted his resignation to Pope Francis in late November 2021 after the magazine Le Point published a report portraying the archbishop as a divisive and authoritarian figure.

The report also raised concerns about Aupetit’s contacts with a woman dating back to 2012, when he was vicar general of the Archdiocese of Paris. The 70-year-old archbishop has said he was not in a relationship with the woman.

Pope Francis accepted Aupetit’s resignation on Dec. 2 but later expressed doubt about the validity of the criticisms against the archbishop.

During an in-flight press conference on Dec. 6, 2021, the pope told journalists he had accepted the resignation because the archbishop had “lost his reputation so publicly.”

(Via Vatican News and CNA – compiled by Raju Hasmukh)


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