Paris archbishop asks Pope to decide his future

National Catholic Register

An “ambiguous” relationship ten years ago and a “virulent” magazine article led Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit to ask Pope Francis last week to decide whether he should continue in his role as prelate.

The 70-year-old archbishop, who was installed in the French capital in 2018 says he wrote to the pope out of a concern to preserve the unity of his archdiocese.

“The word ‘resignation’ is not the one I used,” he says.

“Resignation would mean that I am abandoning my office. In reality, I am handing it over to the Holy Father because it is he who gave it to me.”

In its article, Le Point magazine alleged Aupetit had a consensual, intimate relationship with a woman. Its report relied on several anonymous sources who said they had seen a 2012 email Aupetit sent by mistake to his secretary.

Aupetit denied being the author of the email and told Le Point that he didn’t have intimate and sexual relations with the woman.

Calling it a “mistake,” he said he decided not to see the woman any more after speaking with Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, the then-Paris archbishop, at the beginning of 2012.

“My behavior towards her may have been ambiguous, thus suggesting the existence between us of an intimate relationship and sexual relations, which I strongly refute … I decided not to see her again and I informed her.

“Those who knew me at the time and who shared my daily life would certainly tell that I was not living a double life, as the article suggests,” he said.

“I recognize, as I have said before, that handled the situation poorly with a person who was in contact many times with me.”

Aupetit says he has also spoken to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, about his situation and to Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the apostolic nuncio to France.

“This is not because of what I should or should not have done in the past — otherwise I would have left a long time ago — but to avoid division, if I myself am a source of division,” he said.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , ,