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27th January 2023

Archbishop Of Paris To Resign Over Link With A Woman

Archbishop Of Paris To Resign Over Link With A Woman
Archbishop Of Paris To Resign Over Link With A Woman(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit has sent a letter to the pope offering to resign following an alleged relationship he had with a woman in 2012.

“The archbishop has put his fate in the hands of the pope and has offered to leave if that is judged to be for the best of the diocese,” the source said.

According to the report by AFP, the case involving the Archbishop of Paris dates back to 2012, which leads Monsignor Michel Aupetit to abandon his title of Archbishop of Paris. 

The Archbishop of Paris proposed to the Pope to hand over his resignation, the diocese of Paris, which admitted that the prelate had “behaved ambiguously” with a woman, told the new outlet.

The French daily Le Figaro reported on Friday that nine years earlier, the man subjected to chastity would have had an affair with a “consenting adult” woman.

“It’s not an admission of guilt”

“My behaviour towards her could have been ambiguous, thus suggesting the existence between us of an intimate relationship and sexual relations, which I strongly refute. (…) I decided not to see her again and I informed her, “he nevertheless maintains.

It was “not a romantic relationship” or a “sexual relationship”, assures the diocese on Friday. “He opened up to his hierarchy at the time.” The resignation request “is not an admission of guilt but a gesture of humility, a provision”, he underlines. Bishop Aupetit made this gesture today “because he understands that there may be a disturbance among the Catholics of the diocese”, he added.

What The Archbishop Of Paris Said In 2019 About Sexual Abuse By Clerics:

The archbishop of Paris in 2019 agreed with local judicial authorities to systematically report all credible cases of sexual abuse by clerics or lay Church employees even if the victims do not file a complaint.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit signed a protocol with Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz as an experiment for one year. The agreement mirrors others that the prosecutor’s office has signed with the city’s public schools and hospitals. 

It concerns any abuse of “minors or adults by a member of the clergy or lay personnel working for an institution or body under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church”.

“We can trust French justice,” the archbishop of Paris said at the signing. 

In his previous post as bishop of the Paris suburb of Nanterre, he said, “I saw that, by collaborating with the law, we got results that were much faster, safer and more respectful to people (and could) make the most appropriate decision”. 

“It’s not about protecting the institution or nor me,” he said, adding that “we do not have the means to investigate”. The Church has made errors in the past, such as suspending an accused priest who was later acquitted.

Heitz said the agreement meant the legal system would “not leave the Church alone to judge complex situations”. 

Because of this agreement, the archdiocese would not have to first hold an internal inquiry once an accusation is judged credible, and would not have to wait until a victim made a complaint before informing the authorities. 

The lack of clear guidelines in the past led to cases being covered up, such as the one for which Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was convicted last March for non-denunciation of a crime. 

Heitz said his office was currently investigating 12 cases of alleged sexual abuse by clerics. According to the Catholic daily La Croix, several other dioceses in France are considering a similar agreement with their local legal officials.

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