The Columbus Dispatch
Paris archbishop resigns over relationship with woman
PARIS – Pope Francis on Thursday accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Paris, who unexpectedly offered to step down last week after admitting to an “ambiguous” relationship with a woman in 2012.
Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit said in a statement Thursday that he offered to step down “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust are continuing to provoke.”
The Vatican said in a statement that the pope accepted Aupetit’s offer, and named Monsignor Georges Pontier to serve temporarily in his place pending the pontiff ’s appointment of a permanent new archbishop.
The Vatican gave no reason Thursday for why Francis had accepted Aupetit’s resignation, or why the decision had come so quickly after it had been offered.
The resignation comes amid great upheaval in the French Catholic Church.
A report in October estimated some 3,000 French priests had committed sexual abuse over the past 70 years.
Last year, the pope accepted the resignation of French Roman Catholic Cardinal Philippe Barbarin in connection with the cover-up of sexual abuse of dozens of boys by a predatory priest.
Previously, Francis has taken his time considering whether to accept a resignation offered as a result of scandal. In several cases he has rejected the offer outright and told the bishop to remain.