French Cardinal Receives Six Month Suspended Sentence for Not Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
We wish that Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the current Archbishop of Lyon, would have received a jail sentence, but are at least glad that he has been found guilty on charges that he refused to call police about abuse reports against Fr. Bernard Preynat. By ignoring allegations and refusing to inform police, Cardinal Barbarin put children in his community at risk.
We believe Cardinal Barbarin should have been given jail time because he endangered more young lives with this decision. That is how you stop cover ups - by harshly punishing those who engage in them.
Pope Francis - and indeed, top Church officials across the globe – should publicly denounce their French colleague and demonstrate to their own staffs that hiding or ignoring abuse suspicions and information will not be tolerated. We also hope millions of Catholic employees across the globe will see this news and come forward to police and prosecutors with information or suspicions about clergy child sex crimes.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)