Lyon, France, Jan 7, 2019 / 10:57 am America/Denver (CNA).
French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, begins trial Monday on charges of failing to report allegations that a priest in his diocese abused minor boy scouts from 1986-1991.
Barbarin and five other archdiocesan officials are all on trial in a case involving Fr. Bernard Preynat, who has been accused of abusing dozens of minors in the 1980s and early ‘90s.
If convicted, Barbarin could face three years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000, Reuters reports.
In 2017, the cardinal told Le Monde that he did not conceal allegations against Preynat, but said that his response to the allegations had been “inadequate.” He said he opened an investigation against Preynat after becoming aware of the allegations against him.
Allegations against Preynat became public in 2015. Prosecutors dropped the case the following year after an initial investigation, but a victims group with more than 80 members saying they were abused by Preynat led to a reopening of the case, the Guardian reports.