Archbishop Michel Aupetit, whose resignation as Archbishop of Paris was accepted by Pope Francis earlier this month, has denied reports that he had engaged in a romantic relationship with a woman.
“This has nothing to do with a love relationship or a sexual relationship. It is a friendship,” the archbishop said in an interview with Le Parisien. He disclosed that he plans a defamation lawsuit against a publication that alleged an improper relationship. “I cannot accept that my silence be interpreted as an admission of guilt,” he said.
Battered by speculation about his relationship with Laetitia Calmeyn, a consecrated virgin, the archbishop had asked Pope Francis to determine his future, and the Pope accepted his resignation. Archbishop Aupetit now told Le Parisen: ““If he had asked me, I would have weathered the storm.”
For her part, Calmeyn told La Croix that she is also planning legal action against her accusers. She questioned whether similar speculation would have arisen about a bishop’s relationship with a man. “Should women in the Church be reduced to objects of suspicion, fantasy, jealousy or servility?” she asked.