Vatican City, Oct 30, 2018 / 09:06 am America/Denver (CNA).
The Vatican has invoked diplomatic immunity in refusing to deliver a French court summons to the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, in a case against a French cardinal.
The Holy See informed the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September that it would not notify Cardinal Ladaria of an order to testify before the Lyon court regarding a letter he sent while secretary of the CDF.
A Vatican court ruled that the summons was not valid, since the letter was sent in Ladaria’s capacity as a minister of Vatican City State and is protected under international law.
The Spanish cardinal was first called to testify last spring in a case against Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon and six other officials of the Archdiocese of Lyon, who are being prosecuted for allegedly failing to report accusations of abuse by a priest to the police.
The accused abuser, Fr. Bernard Preynat, was charged with having committed sexual abuse against minors from 1986 to 1991, though prosecutors dropped his case in 2016. Preynat was removed from ministry by Cardinal Barbarin in 2015.