The former bishop of Créteil sanctioned by the Vatican for voyeurism


The former bishop of Créteil was sanctioned by the Vatican for acts of voyeurism on two adults in the 90s as part of a spiritual formation: facts which he acknowledged.

Retired in 2021, the clergyman "was sanctioned a year ago by Rome for spiritual abuse that led to voyeurism on two adult men", said Friday evening to AFP the entourage of Bishop Dominique. Blanchet, bishop who succeeded him last year.

The facts took place “in the 1990s”, declared Mgr Blanchet, who is also vice-president of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF), in a press release published in the evening on the site of his diocese, confirming information revealed a little earlier by the weekly Christian Family.

They were committed in the context of spiritual accompaniment, according to his entourage. The two victims did not wish to file a complaint, adds this same source.

When the events occurred, Bishop Santier was a priest in Coutances (Manche) and director of the School of Faith, a year-long prayer training school for young people aged 18 to 30.

The victims had come forward to the Church authorities during the year 2019, indicates Famille Chrétienne on its website. A report file was sent to Rome in December 2019 by Mgr Michel Aupetit, Archbishop of Paris and responsible for the province to which the diocese of Créteil belongs.


At the same time, Mgr Santier "submitted his resignation, in a letter in which he evokes the facts which are reproached to him, and which he recognizes", according to the entourage of Mgr Blanchet. He tendered his resignation a little earlier two years before the legal age required by the Vatican (75) for a bishop to be allowed to seek retirement.

Pope Francis had accepted his resignation on June 6, 2020, but Michel Santier did not officially leave his office until January 9, 2021. He had been Bishop of Créteil since 2007.

The measures taken against him by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are disciplinary. They were served on him in October 2021.

According to the bishop of Coutances, Laurent Le Boulc'h, in a press release on Friday, the former bishop of Créteil provides a "restricted ministry".

Clearly, he must "lead a life of prayer and penance" and lives apart, in a religious community, according to those around Bishop Blanchet. This is the abbey of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte (Manche), where he notably exercises the function of chaplain.

He is not forbidden to celebrate Mass with this community.

In their press releases, Bishop Blanchet and Le Boulc'h each assured the victims of their "compassion".

In October 2021, the Catholic Church in France was shaken by the publication of the Sauvé Commission's shock report which documented the extent of child crime within the institution over the past 70 years.

This report also denounced the sexual assaults suffered by nuns, adults but more easily subject to abuse of power, spiritual or sexual, because of their isolation.

In Lourdes, in November 2021, the episcopate recognized its “institutional responsibility” as well as the “systemic” nature of this violence.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

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Summary of news for September 27, 2023

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