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Vatican announces preliminary investigation against French cardinal

The Vatican has launched a preliminary investigation into French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard on suspicion of sexual abuse.

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Vatican announces preliminary investigation against French cardinal

The Vatican has launched a preliminary investigation into French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard on suspicion of sexual abuse. A senior investigator who has the "necessary autonomy, impartiality and experience" is still being sought, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told journalists on Friday. The 78-year-old cardinal confessed this week to having sexually abused a 14-year-old 35 years ago.

The judiciary has started preliminary investigations into the case. Ricard's confession sent a new shockwave through the Catholic Church in France. The cleric served for many years as Archbishop of Bordeaux. In 2006 Pope Benedict made him a cardinal.

The French Catholic Church announced on Monday that 11 former or current French bishops have been accused of sexual violence or failure to report alleged abuse.

According to estimates by a commission of inquiry last year, around 330,000 minors have been sexually abused by priests, religious or employees of Catholic institutions in France since 1950.

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