French judge probes Church child abuse cover-up claims

4th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

A French judge has opened a preliminary investigation into "failure to report a crime" after the alleged victims of a paedophile priest said top Catholic officials covered up for him, judicial sources said Friday.

The victims alleged that senior figures in the diocese of Lyon, in eastern France, including Archbishop Philippe Barbarin failed to report the priest, who has been charged with sexually abusing minors between 1986 and 1991, to police.

A formal investigation was opened on January 27 after Bernard Preynat, the priest, admitted he sexually abused young Scouts over 25 years ago.

His lawyer, Federic Doyez, said Preynat told the judge that "the facts had been known by the church authorities since 1991", when he was expelled from the independent Scouts group he had led for nearly 20 years.


© 2016 AFP

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