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French bishop resigns at Vatican’s request, ‘inappropriate’ behavior cited

April 06, 2017

A French bishop has resigned his post, at the request of the Vatican, because of accusations of inappropriate conduct.

The resignation of Bishop Herve Gaschignard of Aire et Dax was announced by the Vatican on April 6, without comment. Bishop Gaschignard, who is only 57 years old, had been appointed to the Aire et Dax diocese in 2012. Bishop Bernard Charrier, the retired head of the Tulle diocese, has been named as apostolic administrator of Aire et Dax until a new bishop is appointed.

Bishop Gaschignard had reportedly been accused of inappropriate behavior with young men. In a statement released upon his resignation, the French bishops’ conference alluded to rumors about “inappropriate pastoral attitudes.” Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux had investigated the rumors and reported to the Vatican.

Bishop Gaschignard left his diocese last week, saying that he needed a break because of exhaustion. He has reportedly spoken to local law-enforcement officials about his situation, as has Cardinal Ricard.

In their statement on the resignation, the French bishops’ confernce said that they “welcome this decision in faith and confidence in Peter’s successor, and appreciate its gravity.”


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