In France, the abuses of the Catholic Church come to light since 1950. 70 years of sexual abuse and pedophilia, which according to an independent commission leaves 216,000 victims of religious and priests. 330,000 if you add the abuses caused by lay people who work in religious circles. The church is in France the third place where there is more sexual abuse of minors, behind the family or the circles of friends.
“In total, committed child abuse by the Catholic Church represents 4% of all sexual abuse in France, counting only the clergy, and 6% including the laity,” said Jean-Marc Sauvé, Chairman of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church.
Lives marked by decades of pain
The commission, which worked for two and a half years, has collected thousands of testimonies from victims and witnesses.
“You, members of the Commission, return from hell. There you have explored the darkest and most abject details that a man’s neurasthenia is capable of engendering … You return from the meanderings of hell more vicious, nauseating and unbearable,” he denounced François Devaux, co-founder of the “Parole Liberée” victims’ association.
A telephone line launched at the beginning of the investigation received 6,500 calls from alleged victims or witnesses of abuse by the Church.
Almost all abuses have prescribed which makes recourse to justice unlikely and canonical procedures are long and not very transparent.
The Commission must list 45 proposals in various fields for prevention. It will also recommend a policy of economic reparation for victims.
The findings of an independent commission
Undoubtedly, the report will also be analyzed in Rome by Pope Francis, who met with some of the French bishops in September and who has addressed this issue since the beginning of his pontificate.
Created in autumn 2018, the Ciase is made up of 22 volunteer members, with multidisciplinary skills. It has been financed by the episcopate and the religious institutes and congregations with 3 million euros.