Pope Francis did not accept the resignation of the Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, because the bishop’s guilt is not absolute.
Barbarin went to the Pope to offer his resignation after he was convicted by a judge in Lyon on March 7 for failing to report child abuse by a priest.
The bishop was conditionally given half a year in prison for that omission. The verdict was a surprise to both the prosecutors and Barbarin’s defence.
The prosecutors had not demanded any conviction or punishment, partly because important facts were barred. Five co-defendants, including clergymen, were all acquitted.
The lawyers of 68-year-old Barbarin have called the trial a show trial, where media guided justice. They have appealed.