March 7, 2019
France’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, has been handed a six-month suspended sentence for his role in covering up the sexual abuse of minors.
Cardinal Barbarin was found guilty of not reporting allegations of assaults by a priest in the 1980s and 1990s.
He denied the charges and his lawyers say he will appeal against the verdict.
Cardinal Barbarin’s sentencing comes as the Catholic Church battles a fresh wave of abuse scandals.
During the trial, he told the court: “I cannot see what I am guilty of. I never tried to hide, let alone cover up these horrible facts.”
Two weeks previously, Australia’s most senior cleric Cardinal George Pell – someone once widely seen as the Church’s third-most powerful official – was found guilty of abusing children.
An Australian jury found Pell had abused two choir boys in Melbourne’s cathedral in 1996. He is appealing that verdict.