Strasbourg Bishop Resigns Amid Sexual Abuse Scandal

Pope Francis accepted the resignation Wednesday of a 51-year-old French auxiliary bishop.

But while the local Church has insisted Bishop Gilles Reithinger resigned for “health reasons,” the bishop was also engulfed by a scandal surrounding the Paris Foreign Missions Society.

The Holy See press office announced Feb. 14 — Ash Wednesday — that the pope had accepted the resignation of Bishop Reithinger from the office of auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Strasbourg. It did not offer an explanation for the step.

The Strasbourg archdiocese, which traces its roots to the 4th century, has a distinctive status thanks to the Concordat of 1801, according to which episcopal moves are jointly approved by the Vatican and the French president.

The French state therefore also announced Wednesday that the president had agreed to Reithinger’s resignation. It did not provide an explanation for the resignation.

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