Cardinal Ricard: Criminal Case Cannot Be Prosecuted Due To Statue of Limitations

French prosecutors announced Saturday that Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard will not face criminal charges after he admitted to abusing a 14-year-old girl 35 years ago.

Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens told AFP that “the case was closed due to the statute of limitations.”

Ricard, the president of the French bishops’ conference from 2001 to 2007, publicly acknowledged Nov. 7 that he had behaved “in a reprehensible way” toward the girl when he was a pastor in the Archdiocese of Marseille in the late 1980s.

On Nov. 11, the Vatican said that Ricard would be subject to an “investigatio praevia,” or preliminary investigation, following the admission. The Vatican probe is believed to be ongoing.

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