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Papal delegate to troubled French lay association resigns

February 22, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Bishop Michel Dubost, 81, has resigned as the pontifical delegate to Les Foyers de Charité, an international lay association founded in 1936 by Ven. Marthe Robin and Father Georges Finet.

26 women alleged they were sexually abused by Father Finet in the confessional when they were adolescents, according to a report published by the association in 2020.

Two years later, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard as pontifical delegate to govern the association. Ricard soon resigned; he admitted that he had sexually abused a 14-year-old girl in 1987. Bishop Dubot became pontifical delegate and was assisted by two vice-delegates, Laurent Landete and Sister Christine Foulon.

Bishop Dubot, now 81, has resigned, and Landete and Foulon are now co-pontifical delegates. Foulon said that she and Bishop Dubot “had different methodologies, which could have created awkwardness or even injuries.”

“The Holy See wants to send a signal to the Foyers de Charité with the appointment of a governance based on synodality,” added Foulon. “We are in a particular, new configuration as co-delegates”—a model that may “come from a desire for greater efficiency, with a certain increased transparency, and perhaps a new rigor.”

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