The Vatican disqualifies a French cardinal who confessed to raping a girl, but confirms him as a cardinal.

In November 2022, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard admitted to abusing the girl for three years. In the process, which was declared overdue by French justice in February, the cardinal announced his resignation and asked for forgiveness from the victim, who was 14 at the time. However, the Holy See, as requested, opened a case against him. Now, after Pope Francis’ trip to Marseille, La Croix had access to the canonical proposal: Cardinal Riccardo is disqualified from public ministry… except in his diocese, where everything continues as if nothing happened.

In the canonical process, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith suspends the cardinal from “all public ministry” except in the diocese in which he currently resides, Dean, in the Alps region. What does this mean? In practice, very little: Ricard will continue to be a priest and a cardinal. In fact, at the age of 78, he could participate in the conclave that would elect the new pope. And be the chosen one.

You just have to be “intelligent enough to understand that you have to be sensible,” emphasizes Archbishop Jean-Marc Avelin of Marseille, who is responsible for sentencing Ricard because it is his home diocese. And when you travel outside the diocese in which you live, you will not be able to celebrate mass in public or receive communion. Yes, you can celebrate in person or in the company of a person.

“Cardinal Riccardo lives in total seclusion (…) he must keep a low profile,” concludes the Marseille archbishop, who some point to as a possible successor to Pope Francis and who played a major role last week alongside Bergoglio. The Pope’s visit and his massive mass – in the presence of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron – at the Velodrome in France.

On the other hand, the bishop of Digna – the diocese where Riccardo lives and can continue to serve – Emmanuel Gobilliard categorically expressed his disagreement with the decision of the Vatican. “I don’t agree that Cardinal Ricard will celebrate this moment in the Diocese of Din, I told him and I hope that the sanction will be applied here as well,” he said. For his part, Cardinal Ricard refrained from any comment so as not to “inflame or stir up any controversy”. Although the controversy had already been sparked by the Vatican’s decision.

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Source: El Diario





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