Europe

Paris archbishop asks for forgiveness, quits over relationship

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French Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit attends the annual Good Friday "Stations of the Cross" procession in the gardens of the Montmartre's Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris, France, March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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PARIS, Dec 2 (Reuters) - France's Catholic Church said on Thursday the pope had accepted the resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit who asked for forgiveness after reports over a relationship with a woman.

The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the church's celibacy rule, has denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman in comments to Le Point magazine, though he acknowledged his behaviour may have been ambiguous.

"I have been deeply troubled by the attacks on me ... I pray for those who, maybe, have wished bad things onto me, as Christ has taught us," he said in a statement on Thursday.

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"I ask forgiveness from those I might have hurt."

Aupetit's departure comes as the Catholic Church in France is reeling from the publication in October of an investigation showing that clerics sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.

The archdiocese of Paris, one of 15 archdioceses in France, is in charge of the Ile-de-France region around the capital.

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Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Peter Graff and Andrew Cawthorne

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