Bishop Emeritus Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne, French Guyana, has been found guilty of sexual abuse in a canonical court and banned from public ministry, while the country’s civil authorities are investigating charges against him.
“He is under house arrest, in a monastery on mainland France,” the Bishops’ Conference of France told Agence France Presse. He must conduct a life of prayer and repentance. The bishops’ conference confirmed that the bishop faces a civil investigation.
Numerous sources have confirmed to the French newspaper La Croix that the Vatican’s Dicastery for Bishops delivered a guilty sentence against the bishop emeritus in October.
As a consequence of the judgment against him, he may not wear his bishop’s insignia, the miter, or use a crozier. He must avoid contact with acquaintances in French Guyana and also avoid contact with young migrants.
The canonical investigation against the bishop was opened in April 2021 “because of rumors and accusations made against him evoking inappropriate attitudes towards adults.” The investigation was made public at that time after La Croix had reported on two civil complaints filed against Lafont in 2021 in Cayenne, the capital of French Guyana.
The Cayenne Diocese’s metropolitan archbishop is Archbishop David Macaire of Fort-de-France in Martinique, an overseas region of France in the eastern Caribbean. Archbishop Macaire conducted the canonical investigation, according to La Croix.Former Bishop of French Guyana Guilty of Sex Abuse, Vatican Court Says| National Catholic Register