Reports say Pope Francis has refused to accept French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin’s resignation letter after he was convicted of covering up abuses that had been committed by a Priest in his diocese.
In a private meeting with the Pope on Monday, Cardinal Barbarin offered to resign from his post, less than two weeks after becoming the highest-ranking church official to be convicted of concealing sexual abuse.
Although denying any misdeed, Cardinal Barbarin received a surprising ruling by the Lyon court, where he would be suspended for six months.
While Pope Francis has rejected the Cardinal’s resignation offer, he did suggest that he “stands aside for a while.”
Cardinal Barbarin has delegated his day-to-day responsibilities to Vicar General Father Yves Baumgarten.
Various clerical sex abuse victims have expressed their disappointment in Pope Francis’ decision.
“It shows that we are right and that the problem is inherent to dogma,” said Francios Devaux, president of La Parole Liberee, an advocacy group for victims of clerical sex abuse.
The French court ruled Cardinal Barbarin was compelled to reporting Reverend Bernard Preynat to French authorities after learning in 2014 that Rev. Preynat had preyed on Boy Scouts throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Reverend Preynat confessed to these allegations and has been charged with sexual violence.
He awaits to be tried in 2020.