Pope accepts resignation of Paris archbishop over relationship with woman


FILE PHOTO: French Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit attends the annual Good Friday "Stations of the Cross" procession in the gardens of the Montmartre's Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris, France, March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Pope Francis has accepted Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit's resignation, the French Bishops' Conference said in a statement on Thursday.

Last week, Aupetit had sent a letter to the pope offering to resign following French media reports about a relationship with a woman.

The bishops' conference said Pope Francis had appointed former Marseille archbishop Georges Pontier as Apostolic Administrator of Paris.

Aupetit's departure comes as the Catholic Church in France is reeling from the publication in October of a major investigation which found that French clerics sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.

Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, archbishop of Reims and head of the French Bishops' Conference, said early last month that France's Catholic Church would sell real estate and, if needed, take out loans to set up a fund to compensate the victims.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Peter Graff)

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