A statement from the Holy See Press Office said Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Michael Aupetit, former Archbishop of Paris. Archbishop Emeritus of Marseille Georges Pontier was appointed interim apostolic administrator during the sede vacante.
“The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Paris (France) presented by HE Mons. Michel Aupetit and at the same time appointed HE Mons. Georges Pontier Apostolic Administrator Sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctæ Sedis of the same Archdiocese.”
Aupetit tendered his resignation to Pope Francis after multi French media outlets reported him as an authoritarian and divisive figure.
Furthermore, these reports raised concerns with Aupetit’s “ambigious behavior” with a woman in 2012, before he was ordained a bishop. He said however, he was not in a relationship with the woman.
“My behavior towards her may have been ambiguous, thus suggesting the existence between us of an intimate relationship and sexual relations, which I strongly refute. I decided not to see her again and I informed her. This is not because of what I should or should not have done in the past — otherwise I would have left a long time ago — but to avoid division, if I myself am a source of division.”
If you care to, read the statement from now-Monsignor Michael Aupetit below:
“The Lord has given, the Lord has taken back.
May the Name of the Lord be blessed!”
This sentence of Job is inside me when I receive this acceptance of the handing over of my office from the Holy Father. The painful events of the past week, on which I have already spoken, had led me to place my mission in the hands of Pope Francis to preserve the diocese from the division that always causes suspicion and loss of confidence.
I received this heavy load from the diocese of Paris, trying to discharge it with fervor and dedication. I give thanks to God, who has always given me the gift of a benevolent gaze on my fellow human beings and of love for people, who initially led me to practice medicine. Caring is something that is deeply rooted in me and relationship difficulties between men do not affect it.
I am happy to have served this diocese with magnificent teams, clerics, laity, consecrated persons, totally devoted to the service of Christ, of the Church and of their brothers. There are too many people to thank for me to list them all.
The day I entered the seminary, I was totally unaware of where it was going to take me, but the trust in Jesus Christ that was in me then, continues to make me completely available, to follow him wherever he wants.
I was, of course, greatly disturbed by the attacks against me. Today, I give thanks to God for having a heart deeply at peace. I thank the many people who have shown me their trust and affection over the past eight days. I pray for those who, perhaps, wished me evil as Christ taught us to do, he who helps us well beyond our poor strength. I ask forgiveness of those I could have hurt and assure you all of my deep friendship and my prayers, which will always be yours.
The diocese of Paris is inhabited by a profound dynamism. He is on the way for a new way of living fraternity starting from our common baptism, in a synodality without posture between the different states of life. I have total confidence in what has been initiated with the Vicars General and the various councils around me. This momentum will not abate and I ask everyone to work for the fulfillment, in the breath of the Holy Spirit, what has been started.
I remain totally united with you and walk with you towards the fulfillment of Salvation.
I can only repeat the message of my very first homily: “Do not look at the Archbishop, look at Christ!”
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