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HomeWorld NewsFrench cardinal says he abused 14-year-old lady 35 years in the past

French cardinal says he abused 14-year-old lady 35 years in the past

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PARIS — Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, one in every of France’s highest-ranking prelates of the Catholic Church, mentioned Monday that he had abused a 14-year-old lady 35 years in the past and is withdrawing from his spiritual duties.

The transfer comes after a report issued final yr revealed a lot of youngster intercourse abuse circumstances throughout the French Catholic Church.

“Thirty-five years ago, when I was a priest, I behaved in a reprehensible way with a young girl aged 14,” Ricard mentioned in a written assertion.

“My behavior has inevitably caused serious and lasting consequences for this person,” he mentioned.

Ricard, 78, was once the archbishop of Bordeaux, in southwestern France, till he retired from that place in 2019 to serve in his house diocese of Dignes-les-Bains, within the south of the nation. In the Nineteen Eighties, he was a priest within the archdiocese of Marseille.

The announcement was made Monday at a information convention by the president of the French bishops’ convention, Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort.

Moulins-Beaufort mentioned a complete of 11 bishops and former bishops, together with Ricard, have been focused by accusations in relation with intercourse abuse in numerous circumstances investigated by French justice or church authorities.

Ricard mentioned he had talked to the sufferer and requested her for forgiveness, with out specifying when. He mentioned he was additionally asking for forgiveness “to all those I hurt” by his assertion. He didn’t elaborate on that.

At instances when the French Catholic Church has simply began to pay monetary compensation to victims of kid sexual abuse, Ricard mentioned he determined “not to stay silent anymore about (his) situation” and that he was out there for the nation’s justice and for church authorities.

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The broad examine launched final yr by an impartial fee estimated that some 330,000 kids have been sexually abused over 70 years by monks or different church-related figures in France.

The tally included an estimated 216,000 folks abused by monks and different clerics, and the remainder by church figures akin to scout leaders and camp counselors. The estimates have been primarily based on broader analysis by France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research into sexual abuse of kids.

The report described a “systemic” coverup by church officers and urged the French Catholic Church to respect the rule of regulation in France.

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