Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Paris after admitting to a “vague” relationship with a woman in 2012.
The Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupétit, said in a statement on Thursday that he has offered to step down “to save the diocese from divisions that continue to provoke suspicion and loss of confidence.”
The Vatican said in a statement that the pope accepted Opetit’s offer, and nominated Monsignor Georges Pontier to serve in place of the archbishop.
The resignation comes amid turmoil in the French Catholic Church. A shocking report in October found that nearly 3,000 French clergy had been sexually abused over the past 70 years, and last year, the pope accepted the resignation of a French cardinal over the sexual abuse of dozens of boys by a predatory priest. Was.
Aupetit offered to resign Francis after a report in Le Pointe magazine that he had a consensual, intimate relationship with a woman. Aupetit told Le Pointe that he did not have sex with the woman.
Le Pointe’s article relied on a number of anonymous sources who said that he had mistakenly sent a 2012 e-mail Opetit to his secretary. Aupetit denied being the author of the email.
Roman Catholic priests take an oath of chastity. At the time of the alleged relationship, Oupétit was a priest in the Archdiocese of Paris. He became the Archbishop of Paris in 2018.
“I apologize to those I may have hurt and assure you all of my deep friendship and my prayers,” Oupetit said in his statement. He said he was “deeply upset by the attacks against me.”
In an interview last week with Catholic radio Notre Dame, Aupetit said, “I handled the situation poorly with a man who was in contact with me several times.” Calling it a “mistake”, he said he decided not to see the woman in 2012 after speaking with the then Paris archbishop Cardinal André Ving-Trois.
Only the Pope can appoint or dismiss bishops, or accept their resignations. At age 70, ouppet is five years off the normal retirement age for bishops.
The pope has refused to accept the resignations of other bishops caught in the scandal, which many would see as more serious.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the former archbishop of the French city of Lyon, offered to resign in 2019 after a French court convicted him of failing to report a pedophile priest. Francis initially declined the Barberin’s offer, but accepted it more than a year later.
Recently, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, offered to resign over the “devastating” mistreatment of clergy sexual abuse cases by the Catholic Church. Francis refused to accept this and Marx remained in office.