French Diocese Confirms Sanctions Imposed by the Vatican Against Retired Bishop who Committed Abuse

A Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Créteil, France, Mgr Michel Santier, was found guilty by the Holy See in 2021 of spiritual abuse for sexual purposes committed. This abuse occurred in the 1990s on two adult men in the context of the sacrament of confession. This was revealed by the French news service, Famille Chrétienne on the 14th of October 2022. 

Upon his retirement, in January 2021, Santier wrote: "At the time of returning to Normandy for rest, after having been tested for several years by a lung disease then the Covid, and distant wounds, I ask forgiveness to those I have injured in the exercise of my ministry and I forgive those who hurt me. I will remain in communion with you, in thought and prayer, and I am counting on yours."

Most people were unaware of the circumstances that led to Mgr. Santier's early retirement

The diocese released a statement to confirm the sanctions:

Statement by Bishop Dominique Blanchet


Créteil, October 14, 2022


Following the publication published on October 14 on the website of Famille Chrétienne, aware of the shock that these revelations can produce, I would like above all to assure of my very particular compassion the people who were victims of the facts. I also share the pain and dismay of all those who will feel hurt by these revelations and I provide the following clarifications:

In 2019, two people revealed that they had suffered, in the 1990s, when they were of age, from Michel Santier facts likely to seize the canonical justice of the Church. The Roman authorities were immediately alerted.

Disciplinary measures were taken for Michel Santier in October 2021. For their implementation he had to move from his place of retirement in order to now reside within a religious community, with a ministry restricted to the life of this community.

I reiterate my availability to all those who suffer from these revelations. In these painful moments that can discourage us, let us remember this wise advice of St Paul in his letter to the Romans: “Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.” (12.21). This will be our best way to face and support all those we meet who are hurt and affected by these facts.

                                                                                   + Bishop Dominique Blanchet, Bishop of Créteil