Pope Francis appointed Mgr. Olivier de Germay as Archbishop of Lyon on October 22, 2020, after accepting the resignation of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin on March 6, 2020.
Aged 60, Bishop of Ajaccio (Corsica), Mgr. de Germay is a member of the Commission for Catechesis and the Catechumenate, as well as of the “Church and Bioethics” working group, within the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF). The installation ceremony will take place on Sunday December 20, 2020 at Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral. Mgr. Michel Dubost remains as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese of Lyon until the installation of Bishop de Germay.
Born in 1960 in Tours (Indre-et-Loire), Olivier de Germay graduated from the Saint-Cyr Special Military School, in Coëtquidan; he was a parachute officer in 1983. Member of the 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment, he served in the parachute forces from 1986, in Chad, Central African Republic and Iraq.
Suddenly discovering his vocation at the age of 30, he confides, he entered the seminary in Paray-le-Monial (Saône-et-Loire) in 1991. Olivier de Germay then pursued theological studies at the Pius XI university seminary then at the Catholic Institute of Toulouse, at the French Seminary in Rome, and at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute.
Ordained priest on May 17, 1998 for the Archdiocese of Toulouse, he was vicar then parish priest of Castanet, in Haute-Garonne, from 1999 to 2006, diocesan chaplain of the Guides de France (1999-2001), dean of the “Banlieues-Sud” area of Toulouse (2003-2006). Episcopal vicar in 2004, he was appointed parish priest of Beauzelle (2006-2012), professor of sacramental theology and the family at the Catholic Institute of Toulouse (2008-2012); Dean of Blagnac (2009-2012). Bishop de Germay was appointed Bishop of Ajaccio in 2012.
Mgr. Emmanuel Gobilliard, auxiliary bishop of Lyon, greeted the news with enthusiasm. Responding to questions from the I.MEDIA agency, he sees Bishop de Germay as “a man perfectly in the spirit of the Gospel,” imbued with “gentleness and very great humility.”
He will be a “rock for the Lyonnais faithful,” he considers, “because he has great depth and an exceptional rectitude.”
Bishop Olivier de Germay is a “man of government,” confirms another French prelate, and is “very focused on bioethical questions,” he emphasizes. On this theme, “he always spoke correctly; he is one of those who, without being too talkative, makes clear and marked statements.” According to him, the new archbishop of Lyon “constitutes an excellent appointment,” because he is very “able to dialogue with people of various sensibilities.” The future will tell.