Éric de Moulins-Beaufort re-elected head of the Conference of Bishops of France

The Archbishop of Reims, Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, has been re-elected president of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF), this body announced Thursday, April 7, 2022, meeting in plenary assembly until Friday in Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées ).

At the age of 60, Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, accepts a second three-year term at the head of this institution which brings together some 120 bishops.

The president of the episcopal conference is not the head of the Catholic Church in France – each bishop being master in his diocese under the authority of the pope – but he nevertheless embodies the first religion of France with the authorities.

Two vice-presidents were also elected on Thursday: the bishop of Créteil, Dominique Blanchet, and the archbishop of Tours, Vincent Jordy.

A vocation discovered at age 11

For three years at the head of the CEF, Éric de Moulins-Beaufort has worked to raise the awareness of bishops on the file of pedocrime in the Church, in particular after the submission of the work of the Independent Commission on sexual abuse in the Church (Ciase) chaired by Jean-Marc Sauvé, who documented the extent of the phenomenon over 70 years.

In November, the CEF recognized the “institutional responsibility” of the Church in pedophile acts and their “systemic character”.

Éric de Moulins-Beaufort had worked on the subject when he was auxiliary bishop in Paris. In 2016, he created a commission to prevent sexual assault.

Born in 1962, the Archbishop of Reims, a graduate of Sciences-Po, attended the French seminary in Rome. He was director of the Paris seminary and teacher, notably at the Notre-Dame Faculty of Theology, and ordained a priest in 1991.

This son of an officer, who says he discovered his vocation at 11, was private secretary to Mgr André Vingt-Trois (2005-2008), Archbishop of Paris. Previously, he had been pastor of the parish of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, in the capital, for five years.