Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, in his letter to the French bishops gathered in the Plenary Assembly in Lourdes from November 3 to 8, acknowledged that “Misconduct” He against a teenager who thirty-five years ago became the priest of the Sainte-Marguerite church in Marseilles. the cross revisits the chronology of the months leading up to the start of this case.
♦ February: Appointment of Cardinal Ricard for inspection mission
February 10, 2022, the archbishop of Bordeaux, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, has been appointed pontifical representative to carry out an inspection mission on the work of the Foyers de Charité since 2020 on the abuses committed by its co-founder Father Georges Finet (deceased). 1990). This appointment is part of his duties within the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, responsible for, among other things, monitoring cases of pedocrination in the Church.
A woman who heard the news in the press contacted Sister Véronique Margron, president of the French Religious Conference (Corref). “She contacted me in a rage and explained that she could not fulfill this responsibility because he assaulted her when she was 13 years old…”Véronique Margron recalls in an interview published on her website on November 9 the cross.
At the same time, The parents of the victim wrote to the Bishop of Digne, Mgr Jean-Philippe Nault, saying that Cardinal Ricard, who lives in the Diocese of Digne, is guilty of the reprehensible actions against their daughter. ” Following this letter, Mr. Ricard confessed to this prelate that he had “kissed” the daughter of this couple, with whom he would later celebrate a religious marriage, more than forty years ago. This was reported by the Marseille Prosecutor’s Office.
♦ March: the cardinal renounces his mission
Between February 17 and 19 Véronique Margron warns Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort. “I learned this through a phone call from Sister Veronique MargronWhile I was at a symposium on the priesthood in Rome in February” The president of the French Bishops’ Conference explained on Tuesday, November 8, during the closing press conference of the Plenary Assembly of Bishops.
According to Véronique Margron, Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort immediately called the victim, then Cardinal Ricardo. Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort and Véronique Margron did not communicate with the victim at that time.
March 10 Cardinal Ricard formally renounces his mission “Health problems”, the press release said. He is replaced by Bishop Michel Dubost of Evri. The victim thanks Véronique Margron “Things went very quickly for Foyers de Charite.According to the president of Corref. “So we left it at that” completes
A few months later, in May or June According to the victim Véronique Margron, he writes to the pope, putting the apostolic nuncio in the copy. In 2017, the victim sent the first letter to the Pope to inform about the facts. Nuncio acknowledges that he received the second letter in October 2022.
end of August Cardinal Ricard attends the cardinal creation of Mr. Jean-Marc Avel in Rome, as well as the ceremony at Saint-Louis des Français and the reception of the French Embassy in honor of the new cardinal.
♦ October: The Santier case erupts and is reported to the courts
October 9Mgr Nault, who had been bishop of Nice, invited Cardinal Ricart to preside over the feast of Sainte-Reparate in the cathedral of Nice.
On October 14 weekly Christian family Criteil publishes an article on Bishop Michel Santier, revealing that in 2021 he was subject to Roman disciplinary measures for acts of “voyeurism” aggravated by his spiritual authority and instrumentalization of the sacraments.
Ten days later, on October 24 Bishop Jean-Philippe Nault reported Cardinal Ricard’s actions to the public prosecutor in February after learning of the facts. According to Bishop, this delay in reporting was necessary in order to contact the victim and convince him to provide enough reliable elements to identify him. The prosecutor’s office of Marseille has started a preliminary investigation for the chief ” aggravated sexual assault “. No complaints have been received.
♦ November: Disclosure of facts to the Plenary Assembly of Bishops in Lourdes
Also in October Cardinal Jean-Marc Aveline, Archbishop of Marseille, contacted Cardinal Ricard after learning of the allegations against him. He knows the facts.
November 6 The Bishops of France, assembled in Plenary Assembly at Lourdes, were informed of the affair by the reading of Cardinal Ricard’s letter in the hemisphere by M. de Moulins-Beaufort. The vast majority become aware of the facts then.
The next day, November 7The president of the French Bishops’ Conference read Cardinal Ricard’s letter during an emergency press conference on the sidelines of the Plenary Assembly.