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Cardinal’s trial puts French Church in glare of Catholic abuse scandal

LYON, France ( ) – The Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon goes on trial on Monday charged with failing to act on his上海品茶微信torical allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts by a priest in his diocese.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is the highest-profile cleric to be caught up in the pedophile scandal inside the Catholic Church in France, and will stand trial alongside five others from his diocese.

While most of the recent focus in the Church’s global abuse crisis has been on Australia and Chile, Barbarin’s trial puts the spotlight on Europe’s senior clergy again, just as Pope Francis prepares to host a meeting of senior bishops from around the world in Rome next month to discuss the protection of minors.

Barbarin is accused of failing to report allegations of sexual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s by Father Bernard Preynat – a priest who has admitted sexual abuse, according to his lawyer, and is due to go on trial later this year.

The charges carry a potential three-year prison sentence and fines of up to about $50,000.

Barbarin told the newspaper Le Monde in August 2017 that he had never concealed allegations against Preynat, but acknowledged shortcomings in his handling of them.

“I myself realize that my response at the time was inadequate,” he said.

Barbarin’s lawyer, Jean-Felix Luciani, said he expected Barbarin to be acquitted.

“He’s accused of covering up for Preynat, whereas in fact it was Barbarin who triggered this whole process,” Luciani said. “You don’t repair one injustice with another.”

“KNOCKED ON DOORS”

Barbarin told Le Monde in 2017 that he had previously opened an investigation of Preynat under church or canon law because a judicial investigation was moving so slowly.

Barbarin, who moved to the Lyon diocese in 2002, has said he became aware of Preynat’s activities in 2007. He eventually removed the priest from his post in 2015.

Barbarin told Le Monde that he had suspended two other priests and called in the judiciary “when I learned of allegations of recent abuses, in 2006 and 2014”. But faced with allegations of abuses said to have taken place 15 or 20 years earlier, he said he “knocked on doors” for advice, but received no satisfac,上海品茶论坛Kailani,tory answer.

Lyon prosecutors had previously investigated Barbarin but dropped the probe in the summer of 2016 without a detailed explanation. However, an association of alleged victims called Parole Liberee (“Freed Word”) used a provision of French law to compel the cardinal to stand trial.

Pope Francis has come under fire over the Church’s handling of the spreading sexual abuse crisis.

In September, researchers said they had found indications of sexual abuse in Germany by 1,670 Catholic clerics over the course of seven decades. On Friday, the Vatican said an Argentine bishop working in a top Vatican financial department was under preliminary investigation for sexual abuse.

Pope Francis himself met Barbarin in early 2016, and later told the Catholic newspaper La Croix that it would make no sense,上海外卖品茶群Hadleigh, for the cardinal to resign before any eventual trial.

“According to the information at my disposal, Cardinal Barbarin took the appropriate measures, he took things in hand. He is brave, creative, a missionar,上海品茶微信Radcliff,y,” Francis was quoted as saying.

Ousted Slovak PM Fico seeks top court job

BRATISLAVA ( ) – Slovakia’s dominant political figure Robert Fico ,上海品茶论坛Pablo,will run to become a Constitutional Court judge this month, seeking to quit party politics less than a year after he was pushed out of prime min,上海品茶419论坛Gabriel,ister’s office in the furor ,上海妹子品茶微信Gabe,over the murder of a journalist.

The murder of Jan Kuciak, who investigated political corruption and EU subsidy fraud, and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova triggered biggest protests since the 1989 fall of communism against the sleaze in politics.

Fico resigned in March after being in power for almost a decade, but remains chairman of the ruling Smer party and is seen as driving policy behind the scenes while party ally Peter Pellegrini serves as prime minister.

Now Fico, 54, who has a law degree and represented Slovakia at the European Court of Human Rights in 1994-2000, has been nominated to become a Constitutional Court judge.

The body is the country’s top court, which rules on whether legislation passed by parliament and judgments by lower courts are in line with the constitution. Former lawmakers have been elec上海品茶微信ted previously to serve on it, but never former party leaders or prime ministers.

The parliament, where the governing coalition has a narrow majority of 76 out of 150 votes, will select 18 candidates to become Constitutional Court judges in a vote later this month.

President Andrej Kiska, who is unaffiliated with any party and who sided with protesters calling for Fico’s ousting, will pick nine of them to replace judges whose term expire on Feb. 16.

The court has 13 judges in total, elected for a term of 12 years.

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