Pope quick to accept Paris archbishop’s resignation

Archbishop of Paris "ambiguous" relationship

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris, who admitted to an “ambiguous” relationship with an adult woman in 2012.

“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the metropolitan archdiocese of Paris, France, presented by Archbishop Michel Aupetit”, according to a brief statement from the Holy See Press Office.

In an unusually swift move, the pope has appointed Archbishop Georges Pontier as apostolic administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the archdiocese.

Archbishop Aupetit said he chose to step down “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust are continuing to provoke.”

The 70-year-old Aupetit had sent a letter to the pope offering to resign after the conservative, Paris-based newsweekly Le Point stated in November that it was investigating several complex issues that the archbishop had “brutally” handled in recent months.

Le Point also claimed Aupetit had inadvertently sent an email to his former secretary that proves he had had an affair with a “consenting adult woman”.

“My behaviour towards her could have been ambiguous, implying the existence of an intimate relationship and sexual relations between us, which I strongly refute. I decided not to see her again, and I informed her of this,” Aupetit had earlier admitted.

Aupetit issued a statement on the archdiocesan website following the Vatican announcement, saying his heart was “deeply at peace”, although he admitted he was “greatly troubled by the attacks to which (he) was subjected”.

“I ask forgiveness from those I might have hurt and assure you all of my deep friendship and prayer,” the archbishop said.

He said he was “happy to have served this diocese with magnificent teams” of clergy and laity.

“I thank the many people who have shown me their trust and affection over the past eight days,” he continued.

His statement was posted under the title, “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”.

Aupetit’s resignation ends the former physician’s meteoric rise within the Catholic hierarchy.

Ordained in 1995 at the age of 44, Aupetit was appointed vicar general of the Archdiocese of Paris after only 11 years of parish responsibility.

In 2013 Pope Benedict XVI named him auxiliary bishop of Paris. He was appointed Bishop of Nanterre 2014 by Pope Francis.

In 2017 Aupetit was named Archbishop of Paris, a role he held for just under four years. However, he has been relieved of his duties five years earlier than the normal retirement age of 75.


La Croix International

La Croix International


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