Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Michel Aupetit as archbishop of Paris, a week after he put his position at the disposal of the pontiff after acknowledging that he had an “ambiguous relationship” with a woman in 2012, according to the diocese, which led him to withdraw “so as not to harm” the institution .
The pope appointed Georges pontier Archbishop Emeritus of Marseille, as Apostolic Administrator of the vacant See of the same Archdiocese.
In a farewell message from the archdiocese that he led for four years, Aupetit, recalling the “painful events of the last week,” He reiterated that he had placed his mandate in the hands of the pope “to preserve the diocese from the division that always causes suspicion and loss of trust.”
He affirmed that he had carried out “with fervor and dedication” his mission at the head of the archdiocese, thanking all those who had supported him in this ministry. “Of course, the attacks against me bothered me a lot. Today I thank God that my heart is deeply at peace “and” I pray – added the prelate – for those who may have wished me badly “and” I apologize to those who may have hurt. “
According to Vatican News, the text of the letter with the resignation, which the archbishop had sent to Pope Francis on November 25, had circulated in the media and it was precisely the rejected accusations of “a press campaign” that which prompted Aupetit to step back “to safeguard the diocese,” as he later stated.
Specifically, the media accusations had focused on the management of the archdiocese and an alleged romantic relationship with a woman in 2012, at the time of his appointment as vicar general. On November 27, the bishop expressed his discomfort at both accusations, while thanking the support he had received from “so many people in Paris, including priests, friends and faithful.”
The archbishop put his position at the disposal of the pontiff after he openly acknowledged that he had an “ambiguous” behavior with a woman, although he categorically denied that he had had sexual relations with her. “I reject it completely,” Aupetit noted after the French weekly Le Point publish a journalistic information about his private life.
The Le Point article was based on several anonymous sources who said they saw an email from 2012 that Aupetit, when he was Vicar General of Paris, mistakenly sent his secretary, quoting a “spoiled” romance with a “Adult” of which no one has ventured to give his name so far. Aupetit He denied being the author of the message and assured that at that time he had already approached his hierarchy to make him a participant in the situation.
In this regard, Aupetit said that “I mishandled the situation with a person who had contact with me many times.” He added that it was a “mistake” and decided to stop seeing the woman after speaking with the then Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, in 2012.
Abuses The resignation of the Archbishop of Paris comes in a context of stupor among French Catholics, after an independent commission estimated that religious abused some 216,000 minors in the country between 1950 and 2020.