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French cardinal to be investigated over abuse confessions



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PARIS — The prosecutor’s workplace in Marseille has opened a preliminary investigation for “aggravated sexual assault” towards Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, certainly one of France’s highest-ranking prelates of the Catholic Church.

By way of a letter that was learn out Monday throughout a convention of French bishops, Ricard stated that he had abused a 14-year-old lady 35 years in the past and is withdrawing from his spiritual duties.

The investigation was opened Tuesday following a letter from an adviser of the present bishop of Good.

Dominique Laurens, the Marseille prosecutor, opened the preliminary investigation however specified that “no grievance” has but been filed towards the cardinal.

Ricard, 78, was 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. Within the Eighties, he was a priest within the archdiocese of Marseille.

Along with any doable felony investigation, Ricard is also topic to church sanctions primarily based on his confession.

The Vatican spokesman didn’t reply to requests for remark Tuesday about what would come of Ricard, together with whether or not he can be faraway from his Vatican duties. Amongst different issues, Ricard is a member of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Religion, which means he’s a voting member of the Vatican workplace that adjudicates clergy sexual abuse instances.

There was one recognized case to this point wherein a pope has defrocked a cardinal accused of abuse, the then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, an American who denied the misconduct allegations however was finally discovered responsible by a church investigation of abusing adults in addition to minors.

Earlier, Francis eliminated the rights and privileges of the late Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien after he was accused of misconduct with adults.

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