Victims of Father Bernard Preynat accused the cardinal of not having denounced to justice pedophile acts of religious and have left in office too long. The proceedings on the merits of the case continues.
This component should stop there. The survey for “non-reporting” of sexual assaults on children and “failure to assist a person in danger”, especially involving Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, was discontinued. The prosecutor of Lyons stated Monday.
The case of sexual assault in question concerns the father Bernard Preynat, former chaplain, indicted on 27 January. The clergyman is accused by former Scouts of the Saint Luc, Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon (Rhone), acts of touching and fellatio committed there twenty-five years. He is charged with “sexual assaults on children under 15 years per person having authority” and was placed under judicial control since then.
The investigation closed without further action, however, not addressed these but acts on their “non-reporting”. In parallel proceedings against the priest, victims accuse indeed the Cardinal Barbarin of not having denounced the religious acts to justice and for letting him in office too long, until August 2015, in a parish where he was in contact with children.
Several complaints in March
During his visit to confession, the priest nevertheless assured that his superiors were aware of his tendency to acts pedophiles. Cardinal Barbarin, meanwhile, said he was aware of the case in the summer of 2014, before recognizing hearing about the case from 2007-2008. Several complaints were thus filed by some of the victims against the Archbishop of Lyon.
After the first complaint, filed March 4, a preliminary investigation was opened by the prosecutor of Lyons. Five months later, the investigation to its conclusion arrived just been discontinued. Attorney Marc Cimamonti said that the offenses were not made, especially the particularly sensitive “non-reporting”.
The prescription was already effective when the first suspicions
the floor of Lyon confirmed that the diocesan authorities were aware of the suspicions aimed Preynat father between 2005 and 2010, but this period was covered by the prescription, which is three years for failure to report. For the post-2014 period, the prosecutor considered that there was no intention to obstruct justice by hiding the truth.
“It is the decision of prosecutor, she belongs to him. I am not positioned to judge. And we are on a moral debate, not legal, “responded François Devaux, one of the complainants and member of the Association of Liberated Word, originally the first complaint in March. “What interests me is the social debate. How long French citizens will agree that pedophile priests are linked with children? “He added. François Devaux has not excluded the possibility to enter an examining magistrate via a complaint with civil party.
In mid-March in Lourdes, at a meeting of the bishops of France leaded by the case, Cardinal Barbarin had assured he had “never covered any act of pedophilia”, although he has since acknowledged “mistakes”.