An independent committee of inquiry has determined that thousands of paedophiles have been active within the French Catholic Church in recent decades. According to President Jean-Marc Sauve, it is about 2900 to 3200 clergy and other officials. He called that a “minimum” to AFP news agency.
Sauves committee relies on church archives, courts and police, among other things. The investigators had also asked witnesses to report themselves and set up a telephone hotline. That led to thousands of responses. After 2.5 years of research, a report will be presented next Tuesday, which, according to the Chairman, has some 2500 pages.
The committee consists of lawyers, doctors, historians and theologians, among others. They had taken office in 2018 at the request of the Church, which responded to abuse scandals. The experts had to investigate allegations of child abuse by the clergy since the 1950s, and the committee will make dozens of recommendations according to Sauve.