Dear Holy Father,
We're writing to you on behalf of the association « La parole libérée » (the truth about Saint Luc's group) to request your help.
We are a victims group of a French pedophile priest, Father Bernard Preynat, who used to officiate in Lyon's diocese under the supervision of the Cardinal Barbarin.
We have discovered that many people have been accomplices by their behaviour and their silence since the 70's.
Today light and truth are revealed, and it seems that we, as victims, appeared guilty of weakening Lyon's diocese and our Church.
The situation should not be reversed.
The Church cannot forget her silence and her own indulgence. Many children have been deeply wounded in their flesh by a predator with total impunity.
Father Preynat confessed that he had been a pedophile priest in our CHURCH.
The silence of the traumatised victims and of the accomplice institution hasn’t absolved that priest from the crimes he had committed during all those years.
These sufferings are the source of a deep emotional pain that quite often never stops... even for the adults that we are now.
Through our association we wish:
1/ to allow the victims to liberate their speech, to get out of their isolation and to find confort and help.
2/ to understand how a man has been able to perpetrate such appalling acts on children without his hierarchy putting him away from doing any further harm and without refering the matter to the legal authority.
3/ that the responsibilities of everyone must be established by the justice of our country and by your authority.
4/ that the French Church must reflect the requirement you've impulsed with his Holiness Benoit XVI, pre-eminent roman pontiff.
If we're asking for your help dear Holy Father it's because you have, in all your speeches and official communications shown a deep dedication to truth and to child's protection, as well as a strong will to end any politics of concealment for the sake of the purity image of the Church of France.
We feel that our will to tell the truth is an embarrassment, and that our words are not welcome.
We have faith in you dear Holy Father and we are sure that the care for each God’s child has more value to you than the image of one church even if it is for the French church.
You might have understood by now dear Holy Father, that you incarnate for us hope, the Church that we love and the Church in which we wish that our children keep growing up.
We are not driven by a will of revenge. We wish to understand.
We want to grow from this story, freed indeed but also confident and ready to be the shepherds of a Church who dares to tell the truth, who protects her ewes.
A church deeply committed to fight against injustice wherever it might be, whether in the high spheres of finance or in youth movements.
It is the responsibility of the smallest of us or in the highest members of the Church.
For the moment we've been through a barren spell without any support to a huge media coverage following an interview of the Cardinal Barbarin in the newspaper « La Croix » on the 11th February 2015. In this interview the Cardinal said that he was aware of the priest's acts since 2007 and that he had no other action that to promote him at the head of a deanery in 2013.
Many victims can't understand Father Federico Lombardi's words. He says that the « the archbishop of Lyon dealt with an extreme responsibility » regarding this matter.
Dozens of victims can't understand that the episcopal conference president, his Eminence Georges Pontier has declared that the Lyon's archbishop was « thorough » in his management.
As victims we can't understand why Rome's answer in early Februaryss 15th imposed disciplinary measures and the « end of any pastoral activities in contact with children » and that nothing happened in the facts until the 31st of August 2015.
Victims that we are can't understand pictures in the press of the pedophile priest « giving metal virgin to children so they can think about it all along their future lives ».
The numerous victims that we are can't understand his return as group leader in the diocesan service in September 2015... without any other disciplinary measure.
The dozens of victims that we are want answers and the light of your words.
It's Your homily of the 7th of July 2014 during the mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel that gave the strength to one the victim to speak out. You have been his strength.
More and more people in the Church of France dares to grab the hand that we desperately hold out and they understand our commitment for the victims that we are and for all the children victims of sexual abuse who suffer from that “imposed code of silence”.
We need You.
If we don't protect the children that we have been, how can we imagine protecting ours?
Light must be shed on “the terrible obscurity of the Church”.
An imprescriptibility of the crimes and pedophile violences committed by priest must be established to allow innocents to be able one day to defend themselves (because the threat of imprescriptibility for predators, will protect children, there will be no longer impunity nor complicity.)
A canonical law clear and simple that can be understood even by the youngest children victims of predators has to be established.
Dear Holy Father, if the Church doesn't unite with our action of sense and truth, it will be the trial of shame and a double sentence for the victims stained by the crimes of a man and abandoned by the house of the Father.
We wish Dear Holy Father that you can be a beacon in our night and that you take the time to know us and our action by accepting to meet the three members of « La Parole Libérée » for a private meeting.
We have the honour to be, with the deepest respect of your Holiness, your very humble and devoted servants.
La Parole Libérée
LA PAROLE LIBÉRÉE
Association d'Aide Aux Anciens du Groupe Saint Luc Victimes de Pédophilie
324, rue Francis de Pressensé - 69 100 Villeurbanne
Tel. 06 60 39 37 33