Pope names new Paris archbishop after predecessor's resignation

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Pope Francis meets with members of Sri Lankan community living in Italy, at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has named Archbishop Laurent Ulrich to be the new head of the Roman Catholic Church in Paris, five months after the previous archbishop resigned over reports of a relationship with a woman.

Laurent, 70, has been archbishop of the French city of Lille since 2008. The Vatican announced his appointment on Tuesday.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit resigned in December. At the time, he denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman, though he acknowledged his behaviour may have been ambiguous.

Several days after accepting Aupetit's resignation, Francis told reporters he had done so not because the archbishop had sinned but because the gossip about him had left him in a position where he could no longer govern the large archdiocese.

The Church in France is still reeling from a report last October that showed that clerics sexually abused more than 200,000 children in France over the past 70 years.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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