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Defamation against François Rebsamen: the plaintiff waives the lawsuit


A trial for defamation of the PS mayor of Dijon, François Rebsamen, was canceled on Wednesday July 6, the plaintiff having withdrawn after a “clarification“Words of the chosen one.

François Rebsamen was attacked by the traditionalist Catholic movement of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, who accused him of remarks made during a municipal council in December 2020.

Canceled trial

François Rebsamen, former Minister of Labor under François Hollande (2014-2015), then declared: “I denounce all the excesses which are today the excesses that we can obviously call terrorist“. “But worse than that, all those which are religions which today, demonstrate in the street, like the Holy Family the other day“, he added. He was referring to an anti-abortion demonstration, two days before, in which the priory of the Holy Family had participated, a house of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, a movement which claims to be “traditionalist“.

In the first instance, on February 3, the citation of François Rebsamen had been canceled due to a date error in the procedure, but the Fraternity had appealed. The latter, however, let it be known on Wednesday, while the hearing was scheduled before the Dijon Court of Appeal, that it was withdrawing, which was accepted by the opposing party and the public prosecutor. The trial is therefore cancelled.

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“This is not an apology but a clarification”

The plaintiff was, in fact, satisfied with a press release, issued on Friday, in which François Rebsamen, insisting on “lighten» his remarks, ensures that he «goes without saying that the priests and faithful of the Society of Saint Pius X cannot be assimilated to terrorists“. “This is not an apology but a clarification“said the mayor’s lawyer, Patrick Audard. “We do not want a debate that would have had an outdated character. This case should never have come before a criminal court. Clearly, the Society of Saint Pius X wanted to constitute a platform“, he estimated.

The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X does not recognize the conclusions of the Second Vatican Council, symbolizing the openness to the modern world of the Catholic Church. She is often described as a fundamentalist and accused of links with the extreme right. In another procedure for defamation against the mayor, the latter was sentenced, on January 10 in Dijon, to a suspended fine of 5,000 euros for having considered that the former director of the city’s congress center had been “resettledby the former municipality. The mayor appealed, the court due to render its deliberation on Thursday.


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