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French bishop resigns over 'inappropriate behaviour' with youths

Iroz Gaizka, AFP | Bishop Hervé Gaschignard's resignation comes just weeks after complaints came to the attention of his diocese.

A bishop in southwestern France resigned Thursday at the behest of the Vatican over "inappropriate behaviour" towards youths, the French Catholic Church said.

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Herve Gaschignard, 57, bishop of the diocese of Dax, tendered his resignation at the suggestion of the Vatican's envoy to France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the church said in a statement.

A separate statement from the Dax diocese said the resignation was over the bishop's behaviour with young people.

Pope Francis accepted Gaschignard's resignation, the church statement said, noting the "gravity" of the situation.

A spokesman for the diocese, Paul Perromat, said the resignation followed "possibly inappropriate comments and behaviour" by the bishop but that "it is in no case a question of sexual aggression or acts".

Catholic newspaper La Croix reported that teen parishioners expressed concern about Gaschignard's behavior and language.

A new book and media investigation released last month accused 25 French bishops of covering up sexual abuse by priests around France over the years.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

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