News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Pope Francis church abuse france.JPG
Reuters
Pope Francis church abuse france.JPG
Reuters
World News

Pope says he accepted French bishop resignation due to harm to reputation

by Reuters Journalist

Pope Francis said on Monday that he had accepted the resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit not because he had sinned but because the gossip about him had left him in a position where he could no longer govern the diocese.

Speaking to reporters on a plane returning to Rome from a trip to Cyprus and Greece, Francis said sins of the flesh were certainly sins but not as great as sins such as hatred and pride and that the bishop had been the victim of "an injustice".

Aupetit asked for forgiveness after reports over a relationship with a woman. The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the Church's celibacy rule, has denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman, though he acknowledged his behaviour may have been ambiguous. 

"It was a failing against the sixth commandment (You shall not commit adultery) but not a total one, one of small caresses, massage given to his secretary - that is what the accusation is," Francis said. "There is a sin there but not the worst kind."

He said everyone was a sinner, including himself. "He (the bishop) was condemned but by whom? By public opinion, by gossip .. he could no longer govern."

"I accepted the resignation of Aupetit not on the altar of truth, but on the altar of hypocrisy," he said.

Francis said he still did not have all the details of the case and expected to get them from French bishops when they visit the Vatican soon to discuss a recent report on clerical sexual abuse in the country.

 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate