Pope Francis says he accepted French bishop resignation due to harm to reputation
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis said on Monday that he had accepted the resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit not because he had sinned but because the gossip about him had left him in a position where he could no longer govern the diocese.
Speaking to reporters on the plane returning to Rome, Pope Francis said sins of the flesh were not as great as sins such as hatred, and that the bishop had been the victim of “an injustice.”
Aupetit asked for forgiveness after reports over a relationship with a woman. The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the Church’s celibacy rule, has denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman, though he acknowledged his behavior may have been ambiguous.