Factbox: France’s investigation into its Catholic Church intercourse abuse disaster


PARIS, Oct 4 (Reuters) – An impartial fee will on Tuesday make clear the size of sexual abuse dedicated by Catholic clergymen in France since 1950.

In the run-up to the discharge of its findings, Commission head Jean-Marc Sauve stated about 3,000 paedophile clergymen and clerics abused minors over the five-decade interval, and referred to as that quantity a conservative estimate. learn extra

The publication marks the end result of 2-1/2 years of labor. The inquiry was commissioned by the French Catholic Church in 2018, when Pope Francis demanded his clergy wipe out the sexual abuse of minors.


In 2020, Roman Catholic priest Bernard Preynat was discovered responsible of sexually abusing dozens of Boy Scouts a number of many years earlier. He was sentenced to 5 years in jail.

The case embroiled a senior cardinal and put Europe’s senior clergy within the highlight on the time when the pope confronted criticism over Church’s response to a disaster that was gravely damaging its international standing.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was discovered responsible of failing to report the historic allegations of abuse in opposition to Preynat in 2019, however later had his conviction overturned on enchantment on the grounds that the alleged victims have been adults by the point he turned conscious of the mistreatment. learn extra

In 2018, former bishop of Orleans Andre Fort bought an eight-month suspended sentence for failing to report the actions of one other paedophile priest. That priest, Pierre de Coye de Castelet, was handed a two-year jail time period.


Catholic bishops in France referred to as in 2018 for an impartial fee to be established to make clear previous abuses and restore public confidence within the Church at a time of dwindling congregations.

Sauve, a senior civil servant, heads a fee with 21 different members together with sociologists, magistrates, legislation professors and theologians. They embrace folks of various faiths, in addition to atheists and agnostics.

In 2019, the Diocese of Paris agreed to ship the capital’s prosecutor any allegations of sexual abuse by clergymen even when the sufferer had not filed a criticism.

In March this 12 months, the Church stated it might suggest monetary help to assist victims of paedophile clergymen. It additionally voted to determine a council “for the fight against paedophilia”.


The French inquiry comes years after comparable investigations within the United States, Ireland and Australia.

In 2002, a U.S. impartial fee started wanting into abuses throughout a interval much like the one lined by the French investigation. It revealed that greater than 10,000 people had been abused by greater than 4,000 predatory clergymen. The U.S. Catholic Church has paid out an estimated $3.2 billion to settle clergy abuse circumstances, in keeping with BishopAccountability.org, which tracks the problem.

In 2009, an Irish government-commissioned examine discovered that Catholic clergymen and nuns had terrorised hundreds of kids for many years. It stated rape and molestation had been endemic in colleges and orphanages run by the Irish Catholic Church.

An Australian public inquiry advisable in 2017 that Catholic clerics ought to face prison expenses if they didn’t report sexual abuses disclosed to them throughout confession. It additionally stated the Church ought to take into account making celibacy voluntary.

Compiled by Richard Lough; Editing by Andrew Heavens

A man prays in Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice, France, October 4, 2021.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard