Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

France opens inquiry into cardinal’s confession of child abuse

France opens inquiry into cardinal’s confession of child abuse

Prosecutors in Marseille probe the facts after a cardinal admits to ‘reprehensible’ acts against a girl in the 1980s.

French prosecutors in Marseille said on Tuesday they had opened an inquiry into child abuse by a French cardinal after he confessed publicly to “reprehensible” acts against a 14-year-old girl in the 1980s.

Jean-Pierre Ricard, a retired bishop who was made a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016, was named among 11 senior clergymen who face sexual abuse allegations in an announcement by the French Catholic church on Monday.

In a message read out at a conference of bishops, Ricard said: “35 years ago, when I was a priest, I behaved in a reprehensible way towards a girl of 14. There is no doubt that my behaviour caused serious and long-lasting consequences for that person.”

The most serious sexual offences in France such as rape usually have a statute of limitations of 30 years, but the period to bring charges can be extended if the victim was a minor at the time of the offence.

The maximum period for charges for sexual abuse of a minor is usually 20 years from the date at which the victim turns 18.

“A preliminary enquiry has been started to verify the facts of this revelation,” prosecutor Dominique Laurens told the AFP news agency in Marseille where Ricard said the abuse took place.

Judicial sources in Marseille said the bishop of Nice had alerted prosecutors on October 24, after Ricard told him that he had “kissed” a teenage girl.


‘Like a shock’


The confession by the 78-year-old was received “like a shock” by fellow church leaders, the head of the Bishops’ Conference of France, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, told reporters on Monday at a meeting in the southwestern town of Lourdes.

Ricard served as a bishop in Coutances, Montpellier and most recently in the western city of Bordeaux from 2001 to 2019, when he retired.

“It’s a good thing that he confessed and acknowledged it,” a 70-year-old parishioner in Bordeaux, Martine, told AFP when asked for reaction.

She said it “was a shame that in the Catholic religion we don’t allow priests, archbishops and other people to get married”.

Another 10 bishops, either retired or still serving, face sexual abuse allegations, de Moulins-Beaufort said on Monday in the latest revelations of sexual abuse in the upper reaches of the French church.


Widespread abuse


French Catholics were rocked last year by the findings of an inquiry that confirmed widespread abuse of minors by priests, deacons and lay members of the Church dating from the 1950s.

It found that 216,000 minors had been abused by clergy over the past 70 years – a number that climbed to 330,000 when claims against lay members of the Church are included, such as teachers at Catholic schools.

That led French bishops to jointly kneel in repentance in November last year during a meeting in Lourdes, the spiritual home of French Catholics.

“It’s more than an earthquake,” Christine Pedotti, the head of the Temoignage Chretien magazine, told AFP. “How can we believe people who were on their knees in Lourdes a year ago?”

She said she feared another exodus of church members, which would deepen the steadily declining influence of the Catholic church in France.


Previous scandals


Other senior French clergy have become embroiled in sexual abuse scandals that have undermined the Catholic church in countries from Ireland to Australia to the United States over the last 10 years.

Retired French bishop Michel Santier was sanctioned by the Vatican last October for “spiritual abuse having led to voyeurism involving two adult men”.

Another French cardinal, Philippe Barbarin, was accused of covering up for a priest who had assaulted dozens of scouts between 1986 and 1991.

He was convicted in 2019 for not reporting the abuse, but had the guilty sentence overturned a year later.

In 2020, he resigned from his role as a cardinal, a position which is usually held for life.

Ricard is expected to tender his resignation to the pope.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
London's Iconic British Telecom Tower Sold To Become Hotel
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
BVI Freedom Song
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Russia Claims UK Cultural Agency Spied for Ukraine
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Hello Dolly
New video
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Yes He Can
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
Unforgettable
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
The Lord's Prayer
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
Siyahamba
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Ramblin' Rose
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Common, John Legend - Glory
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
BVI Freedom Song
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
Hello Dolly
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Yes He Can
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Unforgettable
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
The Lord's Prayer
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
Siyahamba
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
×