PARIS (AP) — A French prosecutor has thrown out the case of a prominent cardinal who was under investigation for alleged failure to report suspected pedophilia by a priest under his watch.
Lyon prosecutor Marc Cimamonti told The Associated Press on Monday that there wasn’t sufficient evidence against Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and the statute of limitations had expired for some of the allegations.
Barbarin had been questioned in June by investigators in the case of Rev. Bernard Preynat, a priest charged with sexual aggression and rape of a minor and accused of abusing boy scouts in the 1980s. Barbarin said he was convinced the priest reformed in 2007-2008 when they met.
Preynat retired in August 2015 after being relieved of his duties by the diocese. He was charged in January with sexual aggression of minors for a person in a position of authority.
In May, Pope Francis expressed support for Barbarin, one of the highest-ranking prelates in the French Catholic Church, saying he shouldn’t resign.