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One of France’s most senior religious figures was found guilty Thursday of covering up sexual abuse allegations, according to CNN. The court gave the cardinal a suspended sentence of six months in prison.
Believed to be made aware in July 2014, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 68, reportedly failed to report abuse allegations made against Bernard Preynat, a priest in the diocese, by victims from the 1980s and 90s. Barbarin, who is the archbishop of Lyon, is set to present his resignation to the Pope following the ruling.
Preynat - Boy - Scout - Leader - Lyon
From 1972 to 1991, Preynat was a Boy Scout leader in Lyon, in which he admitted to sexual abuse allegations taken place at that time. In a separate investigation, Preynat was charged in 2017 and could stand trial later this year.
Barbarin claimed that he became aware of the alleged abuse by Preynat in 2014 after a conversation with one of the victims, even though he confirmed that he heard about the rumors seven years earlier. In 2015, the archbishop proceeded to inform the Vatican and remove Preynat from his position but never told the police.
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