An elderly French priest murdered last month abused a father and his son, the latter of whom ended up killing the cleric, it has emerged.

Driving the news

Father Roger Matassoli, 91, was found early November in his home near Beauvais beaten and choked to death with a crucifix shoved down his throat, as The Tablet recalled.

Alexandre, a young man of 19 years old, was arrested for the priest’s murder, but was remanded to hospital due to apparent mental health problems.

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Alexandre’s father – given the alias of ‘Stéphane’ by French media – revealed weeks later that priest Matassoli had abused him as a minor and that he was still suffering from the consequences.

Stéphane also revealed that Matassoli, too, had abused Alexandre, by making the young man clean his house naked, for example.

Alexandre’s grandfather – Stéphane’s father – committed suicide upon knowing that the priest had abused his son, Stéphane himself revealed.

Stéphane also said Matassoli’s abuse of his son had further weakened Alexandre’s already fragile mental health and had led, too, to suicide attempts on his part.

“This man [Matassoli] has shattered a whole family”, Stéphane lamented.

Why it matters

As if three victims from the same family of the one pedophile priest weren’t bad enough, it has emerged too that Matassoli’s bishop, Jacques Benoit-Gonnin of the Beauvais diocese, lied when he said after the priest’s murder that he had removed the cleric from public ministry in 2009, after receiving information about his abusing.

The date Benoit-Gonnin gave for retiring Matassoli – 2009 – was actually the date the pedophile priest retired due to age, not due to the abuse allegations.

Bishop Benoit-Gonnin actually kept Matassoli in the public ministry until 2018, when he finally took notice of the testimony of Alexandre and Stéphane as well as of at least two other suspected victims.

That maintenance of Matassoli as a priest in good standing occurred despite Church and civil investigations of his abuse that were plagued by ecclesiastical bungling and buck-passing between bishops and their successors.

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