Pope Francis will allow the controversial Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, to resign, the Church confirmed on Friday. A previous attempt by Barbarin to step down had been rejected by the Vatican despite the cardinal’s failure to report a pedophile priest.

Barbarin, 69, became archbishop of Lyon in 2002. He was accused of protecting priest Bernard Preynat throughout the 1980s and 90s as Preynat abused dozens of boy scouts. Preynat has confessed to the molestation and been defrocked. He is awaiting trial for the crimes in Lyon.

Preynant said during testimony earlier this year that the bishops in his area knew about his crimes, and estimated that he had abused around 75 boys.

As for Barbarin, he was convicted of a cover-up in Macron 2019 and handed a six-month suspended sentence. It was after this development that he offered his first letter of resignation to the pope.

However, in January his conviction was overturned. Barbarin has said he followed what were Vatican guidelines at the time when he learned of the accusations against Preynat.

Barbarin told KTO Catholic TV channel that he had been “suffering” over the thoughts of how he could have reacted more decisively but that “there is a great deal of suffering that the victims bore first, and it is really for them that we must pray.”

He hoped his resignation would offer a “new page” for the community. His temporary replacement as Archbishop of Lyon has been announced as Monsignor Michel Dubost.

es/msh (AP, AFP)

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