French top court upholds not-guilty ruling for Cardinal Philippe Barbarin in sexual abuse case

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, arrives at the courthouse to attend his appeal trial in Lyon, France.

France’s highest court for civil cases, the Cour de Cassation, on Wednesday rejected an appeal against an earlier court ruling that had found Roman Catholic cardinal Philippe Barbarin not guilty of failing to report clerical sexual abuse.

Last year, an appeals court overturned a 2019 ruling against Barbarin, who was convicted of failing to report sexual abuse.

Barbarin was given a six-month suspended prison sentence in March 2019 but he denied the allegations and appealed.

A court had ruled that from July 2014 to June 2015 Barbarin covered up allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts in the 1980s and early 1990s by former French Catholic priest Bernard Preynat.

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