French priest defrocked

PARIS (AP) — France’s Catholic Church pronounced a priest guilty of sexually abusing multiple Boy Scouts over several years and defrocked him Thursday, an unusually strong move that reflects France’s growing reckoning with clergy sex abuse.

The ruling by a church tribunal was the latest development in a case with repercussions that reached the highest levels of French Catholic leadership and the Vatican itself. The priest, Bernard Preynat, already confessed to abusing Boy Scouts during the 1970s and 1980s. Preynat is believed to have abused as many as 85 boys.

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