Pope Francis attends an audience with personnel and families of the Italian Court of Auditors (Corte dei Conti) in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican Monday, March 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope nixes French cardinal resignation after cover-up

March 19, 2019 - 9:53 am

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has declined to accept the resignation of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who was convicted of failing to report a known predator priest to police.

The Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, says Francis instead asked Barbarin during their audience on Monday to do what he thinks is best for the Lyon archdiocese. Barbarin has decided to take time away and has asked his deputy to assume leadership of the archdiocese.

Barbarin was given a six-month suspended sentence earlier this month for failing to report the predator. He is planning to appeal but travelled to the Vatican on Monday to offer Francis his resignation.

In a statement Tuesday, Gisotti said the Vatican remains close to sex abuse victims and the French faithful "who are living in a particularly painful moment."

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