The Archbishop of Paris who had an “ambiguous” relationship resigns| Local News
The Archbishop of Paris who had an “ambiguous” relationship resigns
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The Archbishop of Paris says Pope Francis accepted his resignation after admitting an “ambiguous” relationship with a woman in 2012
PARIS – Pope Francis has accepted the Archbishop of Paris’s resignation after admitting an “ambiguous” relationship with a woman in 2012.
Archbishop Michel Aupetit said in a statement Thursday that he had proposed to step down “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of confidence continue to cause”.
The Vatican said in a statement that the Pope accepted Aupetit’s offer and appointed Bishop George Pontier to serve in place of the archbishop.
Aupetit, who had headed the church in Paris since 2018, sent a letter to François offering to resign following an article in Le Point magazine claiming that he had a consensual and intimate relationship with a woman. Aupetit told Point that he had not had sex with the woman.
The Point article relied on several anonymous sources who claimed to have seen a 2012 email from Aupetit mistakenly sent to his secretary. Aupetit denied being the author of the email.
Roman Catholic prelates take a vow of chastity. At the time of the alleged relationship, Aupetit was a priest in the Archdiocese of Paris.
“I apologize to those I could have hurt and assure you of my deep friendship and prayers,” Aupetit said in her statement. He said he was “very disturbed by the attacks on me”.
In an interview last week with Notre Dame Catholic radio, Aupetit said: “I mismanaged the situation with a person who has been in contact with me several times. Calling it an “error”, he said he decided not to see the woman again after speaking with Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, then Archbishop of Paris, in 2012.
Only the Pope can hire or fire bishops, or accept their resignation. At 70, Aupetit is five years younger than the normal retirement age for bishops.
The Pope refused to accept similar offers from other prelates caught up in the scandal.
The former archbishop of the French city of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, offered to resign in 2019 after a French court found him guilty of failing to denounce a pedophile priest. Francis initially refused Barbarin’s offer, but accepted it later.
More recently, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, proposed to step down due to the Catholic Church’s “catastrophic” mismanagement of cases of clergy sexual abuse. Francis refused to accept it and Marx remains in power.
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