A French cardinal has been found guilty of covering up the sexual abuse of Boy Scouts by a priest in his diocese. Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, was convicted Thursday of failing to report child abuse after members of his church accused the priest of sexually abusing dozens of Scouts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Rev. Bernard Preynat was a scout leader in Lyon from 1972 to 1991 and has admitted to the abuse in letters to the families of the victims. He was charged in 2016 after a separate investigation and could stand trial this year. Accusers say Cardinal Barbarin was slow to take action after he learned about Preynat’s abuse—he was removed from office only in August 2015. The cardinal denied there had been a coverup, saying the victims were adults when he was told about the alleged abuse and that it was not his responsibility to go to the authorities for them. He also stressed that he’d followed the Vatican’s instructions when dealing with the case. Barbarin received a six-month suspended prison sentence from the court. His lawyers said they would appeal the conviction.
TOP 10 RIGHT NOW