SNAP Urges Pope Francis to Fire French Cardinal Sentenced for Ignoring Abuse

Today, a French Cardinal who two weeks ago was given a six-month suspended sentence ignoring allegations of sexual abuse will meet with Pope Francis to tender his resignation.

We hope that rather than accept the resignation letter of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin that Pope Francis will instead make the decision to fire him. While in practice, both situations mean Cardinal Barbarin will be removed from his position of power, we believe that it is critical for the Pope to show that he is taking this crisis seriously by taking deliberate action against those who would perpetuate it. 

At the end of his summit, Pope Francis called for an “all-out battle” to end clergy sexual abuse. In failing to report allegations, Cardinal Barbarin is a deserter in the Pope’s army – as such, he should be fired when he and the Pope meet, not allowed to resign with his title intact.

Regardless of what happens today, we hope that those paying attention to this case will realize how critical it is to bring allegations immediately to police and prosecutors, not church officials.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (, 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

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