‘Very 216,000 abusive cases in French Catholic Church’

An estimated 216,000 children and young people have been victims of clergy sexual abuse in the French Roman Catholic Church since 1950, a committee of inquiry concludes. If victims of abuse committed by people without official function are counted in the church, there could be up to 330,000 victims.

In the run-up to the presentation of the report, which has nearly 2,500 pages, it was announced that the number of perpetrators within the church was estimated at 2900 to 3200, and their victims were mostly boys.

The head of the independent committee, Jean-Marc Sauvรฉ, said during a presentation of the results that the problem still exists and also criticized the Churchs attitude. It would have been indifferent to the victims of the abuse for decades, until at least 2000. There was negligence, silence and lack of action against the abuse.

A spokesman for the Vatican reports that the Pope has taken note of the contents of the report with pain, โ€œHis thoughts go out to the victims in the first place, with great grief for their wounds and gratitude for their courage to speak out.โ€

ร‰ric de Moulins-Beaufort, the head of the French Bishops Conference, said he felt โ€œshame and horrorโ€ in a response to the report. He also asked for forgiveness. The committee was set up at the end of 2018 by French bishops who wanted more clarity about the abuse at home and restore public confidence in the church. In that year, Pope Francis said that sexual abuse should be eradicated within the church.

The Committee of Inquiry consists of 22 members. These include doctors, historians, sociologists and theologians. They also come up with a series of recommendations in their report. Although many cases have been barred, they are arguing, among other things, a financial compensation for the victims. The committee has also put the Prosecutors Office on the highest of a number of abusive cases.