French cardinal to stand trial in sex abuse cover-up case

A French court has set a date in 2019 for the criminal trial of a French cardinal and a high-ranking Vatican prelate suspected of covering up a child sex abuse scandal in the eastern diocese of Lyon.

Victims of a priest who has confessed to preying on them have summoned Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, head of a powerful office in the Vatican, and five other Catholic Church officials in court for allegedly being informed of the priest's past abuses and not reporting them to authorities.

A Lyon court on Wednesday set the trial to January 7-9.

Barbarin has admitted some "mistakes" but denied any attempt to cover up the case.

The upcoming trial will be the most prominent church sex abuse case in France.