The pain, or shame, or both, are still too large for some of the victims of father Bernard Preynat. Therefore, part of the testimony during the first hearing of the trial at the cure French accused of having sexually abused dozens of children between the years 70's and 80's in Lyon, up to “four or five in a week”, as he admitted this Tuesday, were conducted behind closed doors. The public part was enough, however, to demonstrate the tremendous impact they have had on the lives of the victims of these acts of paedophiles that the French catholic Church not only knew how to stop, but that he concealed for decades, and only now, in the wake of trials such as this, has started to tackle. The case Preynat was the originator, also, of the conviction at the highest hierarch in the ecclesiastical French to date, the cardinal Philippe Barbarin, whose decision last year to six months in prison with exemption of penalty for failure to report to the priest, under his command, who has appealed, led to its withdrawal in front of the influential archbishopric of Lyon.
One of the first public testimonies was that of François Devaux, whose parents complained in 1991 to the ecclesiastical authorities the fondles that were Preynat to your child without these, as it was discovered only decades later, act in a forceful manner against the cure, which continued for 25 years offering mass and in close contact with minors.
“I became a caress. I grabbed the right thigh, his hand rose up to my rear passing under my pants. I kissed her on the cheek and then on the mouth. I said that was our secret, that he had not to tell,” he said to the dozens of journalists and public that thronged the room. Devaux, president of Word Released, the association of victims of pedophilia in the French Church that emerged as a result of the case Preynat recounted in the film Thanks to the God of François Ozon, and that is in good part responsible for that this topic has begun to be discussed openly in France, revealed that, although believed to forget about the abuse for years, these are responsible, among others, of a suicide attempt.
Except for some minor details, Preynat, today 74 years old and since last summer reduced to the lay state, the maximum penalty for a priest, provided for in canon law, not replied to a few facts that has already admitted and for which he faces a penalty of up to ten years in prison.
“At the time, I did not realize the severity of my actions, I knew they were prohibited, they were condemned, but did not think of the consequences that might have on my victims. He did it without violence, for me, there were gestures of tenderness in which, evidently, was a true pleasure,” she said before the judges and his accusers, according to the radio station France Info. Now “I understand the consequences, I have to admit, I am overwhelmed by the fact that, through my fault, tried to commit suicide”, he added after hearing the testimony of Devaux, emphasized the web Lyonmag. After repeatedly ask for forgiveness from the victims, who according to journalists present, however, just looked at it for the audience, Preynat agreed with the president of the criminal court who will judge all this week the scale of their abuses. When questioned about the regularity of these, the old priest explained that “on a Saturday afternoon, there could be one or two” children exposed to touching, and that “every weekend”, a figure that could increase to “four or five children” when it was a week of camping with the scout group Lyon-Saint-Luc, of which he was chaplain until the beginning of the 1990s.Updated Date: 14 January 2020, 23:00