Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, 78, admitted Monday that he sexually abused a 14-year-old girl who was a French parish priest 35 years ago.
Cardinal Ricard is a member of the Vatican Diocese for Faith. Department responsible for investigating cases of abuse in the Catholic Church.
“I have decided not to remain silent about my situation and to exercise justice at both the social and ecclesiastical levels,” the cardinal said in a letter.
“35 years ago, when I was a parish priest, I denounced a 14-year-old girl. My actions inevitably had serious and lasting consequences for this person,” the letter added. I got
The letter was read out by the President of the French Bishops’ Conference at a press conference.
Ricard also apologized to the girl, her family, and everyone affected by this announcement.
In light of the situation, Ricard said he would “retire and take time to pray.”
According to La Croix, the woman abused by Ricard wrote to Pope Francis twice, most recently in May-June, but received no reply.
Civil lawsuits against Ricard have not yet been filed. But on Tuesday, a preliminary civil investigation into Ricard’s abusive behavior was launched after receiving a letter from the current Bishop of Nice’s adviser.
France’s Catholic Church has been under attack since a 2021 report estimated that 330,000 children were abused by clerics over 70 years.
Ricard’s revelation “shocked” the French bishop as he is one of 11 French bishops currently under investigation for sexual abuse.
At a press conference on the flight home from Bahrain, which has promoted dialogue with Islam, Francisco said child abuse within the church was a “tragic thing” and that the Catholic Church “does everything it can”. He said he was fighting with clerical child abuse.
Francis admitted his shortcomings.
“We are doing our best, but there are people within the church who clearly don’t get it,” Francis said.
Francis instituted a “zero tolerance” policy against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, mandated reporting of abuse to authorities, and criminalized sexual abuse in the Vatican.
Only three cardinals have been officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church for sexual abuse.
In 1995, Cardinal Hans-Hermann Groel resigned as Archbishop of Vienna following numerous reports of sexual abuse, but was never given a formal trial.
Benedict banned Cardinal Keith O’Brien from participating in the 2013 Conclave due to allegations of abuse. Two years later, Francis stripped O’Brien of his cardinal rights.
In 2019, Francis fired former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after a Vatican investigation found him guilty of molesting minors and seminarians.
Ricard, who headed the Archdiocese of Bordeaux from 2001 to 2019, headed the Conference of French Bishops from 2001 to 2007.
He has played many important roles in the Vatican under Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. And, similar to his role in Decastery for the Doctrine, he was appointed to the Council on Economic Affairs by Francis in his 2014 and served there until 2019.
News Categories: world.
https://cathnews.co.nz/2022/11/10/sex-abuse-committee-cardinal-child-abuser/ Pope says church fights child abuse ‘as much as possible’