“If you can no longer eat with a friend without a paparazzo taking pictures of you, what kind of world do we live in?” the archbishop asked.
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Archbishop Aupetit’s words were applauded by the congregation of around 2,000 people gathered in the city’s second-largest church after Notre-Dame Cathedral.
COMMENTARY: Who would want a position where the gossip of others leads to a downfall, even if the Holy Father protests the ‘injustice’ while accepting the resignation?
The Pope’s decision comes within a week of the 70-year-old archbishop’s request to have Pope Francis decide his future out of a concern to preserve the unity of his archdiocese amid the controversy.
The Pope responded to the CIASE report the day after its publication, describing it as “a moment of shame.”
“This cathedral is also the symbol of the restoration of this Church founded 2,000 years ago by Christ himself,” the archbishop said in his homily on the evening of June 16.
The French government is overseeing the cathedral’s structural restoration and conservation, but the cathedral authorities are responsible for its interior renewal.
Lambert was a quadriplegic and severely disabled for more than 10 years, after he sustained severe head injuries in a 2008 traffic accident.