Archbishop Michel Aupetit leaves the leadership of the Church of Paris. In fact, the Pope accepted his resignation by appointing as apostolic administrator “Sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctæ Sedis”, that is, pending the choice of a successor. Monsignor Georges Pontier. As is well known, the resignation follows a journalistic investigation carried out by the weekly “Le Point” according to which Aupetit would have woven a sentimental relationship with a woman in 2012. A relationship, moreover, denied by the archbishop himself who indeed claimed to have interrupted contacts with the lady, when the relationship was in danger of becoming too demanding.
The investigation of Point he also accused Aupetit of an excess of authoritarianism in the management of the local Church. The prelate himself spoke on this theme and on the story as a whole last November 30 in an audio message to the diocese. «Of course, it is normal that the decisions that are made can generate frustration and cause bitterness – this is his reflection on the subject -. But I never take them by myself. I am surrounded by numerous advisers. They are priests, deacons and laity and I have always wished that more and more women could actively participate because I consider their contribution of discernment irreplaceable. But it is also true that although a decision is taken in common, it is necessary that I must assume it and take responsibility for it and with it also the possible discontents it can generate “.
As for the alleged emotional relationship, the answer was peremptory. «Anyone who knew me then, and who shares my daily life with me, can certainly testify that he has never lived a double life as the article suggests. I acknowledge – as I have already said – that I have handled the situation badly with a person who has manifested himself several times towards me. I confided this mistake to my spiritual director and the ecclesiastical authorities have been made aware of it ».
From today, as mentioned, the leadership of the archdiocese of Paris is temporarily entrusted to an apostolic administrator. This is Monsignor Georges Paul Pontier, 78 years old archbishop emeritus of Marseille, a diocese he led for 13 years. Former president of the French Bishops’ Conference, from 11 January to 11 July 2021 he was apostolic administrator of Avignon.