Pope voices support to French cardinal accused of covering up pedophile priests cases: "He has taken the necessary measures"
May 16, 2016 09:58 PM EDT
(Photo : Andrea Bonetti/Greek Prime Minister's Office/Getty Images)
Pope Francis has expressed his support for a French cardinal who is currently in troubled waters for allegedly covering up cases of pedophile priests in his Lyon parish. According to him, the accused should not resign.
In an interview with French Catholic daily La Croix coming out on Tuesday, Pope Francis called the possible resignation of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin a "mistake, an imprudence".
"Based on the information I have, I think in Lyon, Cardinal Barbarin has taken the necessary measures and has taken things well in hand," the pope said, according to Yahoo. "He is a brave and creative man, a missionary."
The Pope encouraged everyone to wait for the result of the proceedings before going to civil courts, also pointing out that resigning now merely amounts to "admitting guilt".
Barbarin, also known as one of the most high-ranking priests in the French Catholic Church, has been involved in two probes for not reporting cases of child abuses by pedophile priests to legal authorities. According to ABC News, the accused has denied any cover-ups. However, he did recognize "some mistakes in handling and appointing some priests" last month.
Apart from Barbarin, other Church personnel are also under investigation.
In the said interview, Pope Francis stated there "can be no prescription" in cases of pedophile priests in the church in general. Nonetheless, he highlighted that there should be zero tolerance when it comes to such things.
"Through these abuses, a priest, who is designed to drive a child to God, is destroying him. He spreads evil, resentment, pain," he added.
Pope Francis gave the one-hour interview to two La Croix journalists at his Vatican residence on Monday, May 9. He was reportedly speaking in Italian during the meeting. According to the interviewers, the Vatican has already read the piece before it was published.