The Catholic Church in France is the subject of a new investigation for sexual assault, after the justice decided to investigate the accusation of the diocese of Paris about his ex-archbishop Michel AupetitThe prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.
French justice decided to open an investigation into sexual assault on a vulnerable person in December, the Paris public ministry said Tuesday, confirming information from BFMTV television.
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According to BFMTV, the former archbishop had a relationship with a person subject to a judicial protection measure.
A source close to the case explained that the investigation examines “email exchanges” between the religious and a woman, whose consent must be established in light of her mental health.
The diocese of Paris “confirmed that he pointed out the facts (to the judicial authorities) and specified that he could not verify if they are true and if they represent a crime”, in a statement broadcast Tuesday night.
Aupetit’s lawyer, jean reinharttold AFP that at the moment they have no knowledge of “no complaint”.
Aupetit resigned at the end of 2021 after several newspapers revealed an intimate relationship with a woman in 2012, which he categorically denied.
The Pope Francisco He accepted his resignation considering that the “reputation” of the then Archbishop of Paris was compromised.
Aupetit, ordained a priest at the age of 44 after practicing for 11 years as a doctor, had also been criticized for his management of human resources in France’s most important diocese.
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The former archbishop is also known for his strict positions on the family and bioethics, his support for anti-abortion marches and his opposition to same-sex marriage.
The Catholic Church in France has registered a series of coups since October 2021, when an independent report estimated that some 216,000 minors were victims of abuse by priests and religious between 1950 and 2020.
In November, the court opened an investigation against Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, who acknowledged having behaved “reprehensible” with a minor 35 years ago.
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