The influential Archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Barbarin, has been spoken because of the cover-up of abuse allegations is guilty.

A court in Lyon sentenced the cardinal to six months of prison on probation because he had not shown cases of sexual Assaults on minors. Barbarins lawyers announced they would appeal.

The ruling comes as a surprise, the Prosecutor had asked for no conviction, among other things, because a part of the offence was time-barred. Cardinal Barbarin and five other priests was accused of abuse allegations against a priest to have. This should be become in the 1980s against dozens of children grip.

A victims ‘ Association had brought the action, which in January began. “I’ve never tried to hide these unspeakable acts, let alone to cover them up,” had Barbarin said to Prozessauftag. The lawyers for the defense spoke of a show trial. During the three-day procedure, victims of abuse had testified. “This is historic,” said Gino Hoel, Director of the French magazine “Golias”, which deals with religious topics, the station France info. “If cardinal Barbarin does not occur, it would be unthinkable.”

The award-winning Berlinale-film “Grâce à Dieu” (German title: Praise be to God), by François Ozon deals fictitiously with the events in Lyon. The verdict comes shortly after the first summit on the topic of abuse in the Catholic Church in the Vatican and only a few days before the beginning of the spring plenary Assembly of the German bishops ‘ conference.

dpa