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Pope nixes French cardinal resignation in abuse oversight case

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has declined to accept the resignation of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin as archbishop of Lyon after he was convicted of failing to report a known predator priest to police, the Vatican said Tuesday.

The decision disappointed abuse survivors, given that Barbarin had traveled to the Vatican Monday to present his resignation following the March 7 verdict and six-month suspended sentence he received.

The Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said Tuesday that Francis didn’t accept the resignation and instead asked Barbarin to do what he thinks is best for the archdiocese. Barbarin has decided to take time away and has asked his deputy in Lyon, the Rev. Yves Baumgarten, to assume leadership of the archdiocese, Gisotti said.

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The French court found that Barbarin had an obligation to report the Rev. Bernard Preynat to civil authorities when he learned of his abuse. Barbarin has appealed his conviction.