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French police question Cardinal Barbarin about handling of abuse complaints

June 08, 2016

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, was questioned by police on June 8, in an investigation into the case of a priest who has been charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse.

The complaints against Father Bernard Preynat date back to the 1980s-- long before Cardinal Barbarin was installed as Archbishop of Lyon in 2004. Father Preynat had been suspended from ministry briefly in 1991, after he admitted to sexual abuse, but then reinstated. He remained in active ministry until 2015, when Cardinal Barbarin, reacting to new complaints, suspended him. 

The cardinal has repeatedly denied that he covered up evidence of abuse by Preynat. His lawyer said that the police questioned the prelate as a witness in the case, and that the session "will not be followed by any obligation to appear in court, any opening of a judicial investigation, or any indictment." 

 
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