French PM called for cardinal to 'take responsibility'

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls calls for cardinal to take responsability due to cover-up allegation of sexual abuse of Scouts by priest

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls addresses the parliament at the national assembly in Paris. [AP]

French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, on Tuesday called for a cardinal, accused of covering up the sexual abuse of Scouts by a priest, to "take responsibility" in a shocking case for France.

"The only message I have, without ... taking the place of the Church, of the judges -- because an investigation is under way -- is that he must take responsibility, speak and act," Valls voiced.

Replying to journalists on whether he meant that Cardinal Philippe Barbarin should resign, Valls said: "It is his responsibility, but he must also understand the pain."

"I expect not only words, but acts."

French Archbishop Philippe Barbarin leads the traditional procession to Mary, in Lyon, France, December 8, 2015. [Reuters]

The archbishop of Lyon on Tuesday denied covering up the sexual abuse of young boys by a priest, a case which has prompted a scandal in the country's Catholic Church.

"I have never covered up paedophilia," Cardinal Philippe Barbarin told a press conference.

Barbarin is one of several senior officials being brought suit against the alleged cover-up.

He is accused of being aware that priest Bernard Preynat had been sexually abusing young boys between 1986 and 1991.

Preynat was charged in January after victims came forward and prosecutors said that he has admitted his wrongdoing.

TRTWorld and agencies