Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

March 17, 2016 Comments Off on Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic
2016-03-16
Allegations of a cover-up in the highest reaches of French Catholicism have revived the spectre of clerical child sex abuse and cast a pall over France’s most prominent cardinal

….the allegations have the potential to profoundly rattle the Church in a country where half the population continues to consider itself Catholic. In particular, they threaten to derail the career of France’s most prominent clergyman, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, a man long touted as a possible candidate for the papacy.

The 65-year-old prelate has fiercely denied charges that he covered up paedophilia crimes by failing to remove a priest in his diocese known to have abused boy scouts decades before he took up his post in 2002. Barbarin is also accused of failing to act against another Lyon priest when it emerged in 2009 he had abused a boy in the past.

“I have never, never, never covered up acts of paedophilia,” Barbarin said at a press conference on Tuesday, noting that the cases had passed the legal statute of limitations when they were reported. He added an unfortunate “thank God” – and later apologised for his choice of words.

The cardinal spoke just hours after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged him to “take his responsibility and act” upon the allegations of cover-up – a rare step for France, which has a strict separation of church and state.

Pandora’s box

Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a preliminary judicial investigation that grew out of allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s. Barbarin wasn’t a cardinal at the time and says he was convinced the priest had been reformed by the time he found out about the abuse in 2007.

The priest, Bernard Preynat, was charged on January 27 of this year with sexual aggression and rape of a minor by a person in authority. The charges are based on complaints filed by members of an association of alleged victims of the priest, known as Parole libérée (Freed word).

Several of the alleged victims have spoken to Euronews journalist Valérie Gauriat about the abuse….

The association says it has received dozens of testimonies from alleged victims, who had previously kept quiet about their story, or were simply not listened to. “Since our establishment, barely two months ago, we have been submerged by messages from victims seeking psychological support or advice,” says Dominique Murillot, the wife of a former child abuse victim and a psychologist at Parole libérée….

Adding to Barbarin’s woes, Le Parisien reported that the Lyon cardinal had in 2013 promoted a convicted sex offender, whose suspended jail term in 2007 was well known to the archdiocese….

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils.

On Wednesday, the Education Ministry said it had struck off twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools in 2015 because of paedophilia-related offenses, adding that it would tighten cooperation with the justice ministry to scrutinize the criminal records of all teachers it employs….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-child-abuse-spotlight-france-catholic-cardinal-barbarin-paedophilia


French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

016-03-16
Twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools were struck off in 2015 because of pedophilia-related offenses, Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Wednesday.

Vallaud-Belkacem said most of those fired where male staffers. She did not say whether they were teachers or administrative personnel, nor when the offenses happened.

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils. Earlier this year, a high school teacher who had been convicted in Britain 10 years ago was given preliminary charges of sexual assault after police found pornographic images and video in his mobile phone.

According to a report aiming at improving communication between the ministries of education and justice published Wednesday, 19 members of staff in schools and high schools were fired in 2014 in cases related to child pornography or pedophilia. There were 26 staff at French schools laid off in 2013 for the same reason, and 15 in 2012.

“We believe that a teacher, or an adult, or an administrative agent in contact with children can’t work with children as soon as he has been sentenced for offenses as serious as pedophilia or child pornography,” Vallaud-Belkacem told RTL radio….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-france-27-school-staff-fired-child-sex-abuse-paedophilia

 

Valls appeals to French cardinal over child abuse allegations, FORCEPS Poems About The Birth of The Self Wendy Hoffman

March 16, 2016 Comments Off on Valls appeals to French cardinal over child abuse allegations, FORCEPS Poems About The Birth of The Self Wendy Hoffman

Valls appeals to French cardinal over child abuse allegations
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says Cardinal Philippe Barbarin must “take responsibility” over an alleged pedophilia cover up. He is one of six people implicated in an investigation into a 70-year-old priest.

Valls told BFM TV on Tuesday that without wanting to overrule the Church or judges investigating the case, Barbarin “must take responsibility, speak and act.”

He stopped short of calling for Barbarin’s resignation but said “action, as well as words” were required.

Barbarin hit back at a press conference later, insisting for a second time: “I have never covered up pedophilia,” although he admitted he had made mistakes.

The scandal relates to an investigation into an elderly priest, Bernard Preynat, who was charged in January with historic child sex abuse.

Several victims have come forward making claims dating back to the 1980s. One of them, who was allegedly abused while in the Scouts, filed a complaint after he realized that the priest was still in service in 2015.

Church hush-up?

Prosecutors say Preynat has admitted the charges and was finally removed from service in May last year. But when the claims were initially investigated, he was just briefly suspended and then moved to another parish. Other victims have since come forward claiming to have been abused between 1986 and 1991.

Complaints have been filed against several senior officials in the Lyon diocese in eastern France, including Lyon archbishop Barbarin, accusing them of being aware of the abuse but failing to report the priest.

Barbarin has argued he was not Archbishop when the first complaints emerged against Preynat.

The Cardinal said he learned of Preynat’s “behaviors” in 2007 or 2008, and met with him “to ask if, since 1991, anything had happened; he assured me there had been absolutely nothing.”

French prosecutors are investigating whether charges of failure to denounce a crime and endangering the lives of others could be made in the context of the pedophilia investigation….
http://www.dw.com/en/valls-appeals-to-french-cardinal-over-child-abuse-allegations/a-19118938

FORCEPS
Poems About The Birth of The Self

The search for my true past came in distinct waves. This collection of poems includes some from the long period when I knew something was drastically wrong but didn’t consciously know what that was and some from the breakthrough when I discovered my never-bloomed self. The poems cover the outskirts of my awakening, my plowing through and arrival in the middle of awareness. When dissociated memories and emotions exploded inside, eventually they filtered into a poem. The horror transmuted itself. These poems are that record. I have regained a real, not imposed, self.
Karnac Books  March 2016     ISBN 13 : 9781782204107    ISBN 10 : 1782204105
https://us.karnacbooks.com/product/forceps-poems-about-the-birth-of-the-self/38047/

 

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Cardinal Philippe Barbarin category at Eassurvey's Weblog.