Abuse in the Catholic Church: seven priests to go on trial

Abuse in the Catholic Church: seven priests to go on trial

Philippe Barbarin, the Archbishop of Lyon, above – along with six other priests – is to be tried in France on charges of failing to report historical child abuse

According to this report, the seven have been ordered to appear in court for allegedly not speaking out against abuse said to have been committed by another clergyman, Bernard Preynat, in the 1980s.

Preynat was dismissed in 2015 and prosecutors say he has admitted charges of child abuse.

His alleged victims accused Father Barbarin and others of not reporting the crimes to the authorities.

Barbarin, 66, who has denied the claims, is the most senior priest to be implicated in the scandal.

But the lawyer representing the alleged victims, Nadia Debbache, said the scandal goes beyond the accused priests. She said:

Everyone at his level has participated, including within the Vatican.

The trial will take place next April.

News of the impending trial coincides with a report that five football players at an American evangelical college have been charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint following a vicious attack on a 19-year-old freshman.

Charged, from left, James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos. Photo: Lou Foglia/Chicago Tribune.

The victim told investigators that his assailants restrained him with duct tape, pulled down his shorts and underwear, then repeatedly tried to insert an object into his rectum. After the freshman yelled at them to stop, he was beaten.

When Wheaton College learned of the attack, which took place last year, it “disciplined” those involved by requiring them to perform 50 hours of community service and write an eight-page essay reflecting on their behaviour.

The freshman’s lawyer, Terry Ekl, said that the evangelical Christian school needs to be transparent about how it’s handling the situation.

It appears to me that no meaningful discipline was implemented against any of these boys by the college or the football programme. The school and the football staff should have to explain that to the public.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Wheaton report)

4 responses to “Abuse in the Catholic Church: seven priests to go on trial”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Wheaton is a strange institution – academically well respected but still linked to its fundamentalist roots. Billy Graham studied anthropology there (I know!) when he found Bob Jones College too “legalistic”, and it was there that he decided, unlike his friend Charles Templeton, to accept the literal inspiration of the Bible without question. It was an even stranger place in his day!

  2. Broga says:

    “Everyone at his level has participated, including within the Vatican.” And still continues to do so when they think they can get away with the cover ups?

  3. AgentCormac says:

    Barbarin by name, barbaric by nature. And doesn’t he just look like a barrel of laughs?

  4. Laura Roberts says:

    American football players get shocking preferential treatment, so I’m actually impressed that the case is proceeding; but I’d wager good money that they’ll be acquitted.