Pope Francis has accepted the controversial resignation of Archbishop Luc Ravel of France amid escalating accusations of wrongdoing.
His acceptance of the resignation was confirmed last weekend in an official statement from the Conference of Bishops of France.
Archbishop Ravel’s resignation comes on the heels of an investigation ordered by the Vatican in 2022 into the diocese of Strasbourg, which represents some 1.3 million Catholics.
Ravel, who has been archbishop since 2017, was the subject of an investigation initiated by the Vatican in 2022.
The inquiry was prompted by complaints from Catholics living in Alsace.
Characterized as authoritarian, Ravel’s leadership style alienated many parishioners and church officials.
His decision to exclude women and laity from various councils within the parish and to appoint traditionalist priests with contrasting views on the congregation drew serious criticism.
In addition, Ravel faced backlash for dismissing the diocesan treasurer and assistant bishop in just over a year.
Calls for resignation continue
Despite his resignation, Archbishop Ravel staunchly defended his controversial six-year tenure.
But calls for his resignation have continued, with an online petition gathering more than a thousand signatures.
Ravel’s leadership style, which neglected to prioritize communication and engagement with priests, exacerbated tensions.
His absence during Holy Week, especially the Holy Incense Mass with the archbishops, deepened the frustration of the clergy who felt neglected by the archbishop.
In June 2022, the Vatican launched an investigation into Ravel’s rule, highlighting numerous complaints about his authoritarian behavior.
However, the results of the investigation were not made public.
Ravel summoned to Rome
Ravel was then summoned to Rome to meet with the former Bishopric, Cardinal Marc Ouelle, who demanded his resignation and a letter to the President of France in accordance with the obligations of the agreement.
Ravel did not initially submit a letter of resignation, and the Papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, summoned Ravel to Rome.
However, the Archbishop did not attend the meeting, citing health reasons.
However, on April 20, Ravel said he had “offered his resignation to the Pope” but gave no further details.
“The Pope and the President of the Republic [Emmanuel Macron] The French bishops’ conference announced in a statement on Saturday that it had jointly accepted the resignation of Luc Ravel.
Francis appointed Archbishop Philippe Ballot of nearby Metz as parish administrator, adding in a statement that he was “awaiting the appointment of the next Archbishop of Strasbourg.”
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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/05/29/pope-accepts-resignation-of-controversial-french-archbishop/ Pope accepts controversial resignation of French archbishop