Report finds 216,000 youngsters had been victims of French clergy intercourse abuse since 1950

  • Investigation finds estimated 216,000 youngsters suffered abuse
  • French Catholic Church confirmed ‘merciless indifference’ – report
  • Latest intercourse abuse scandal to rock the Roman Catholic Church
  • Victim calls church a ‘shame to our humanity’

PARIS, Oct 5 (Reuters) – An investigation into sexual abuse within the French Catholic Church has discovered that an estimated 216,000 youngsters had been victims of abuse by clergy since 1950, Jean-Marc Sauve, head of the fee that compiled the report, stated on Tuesday.

The revelations in France are the newest to rock the Roman Catholic Church, after a sequence of sexual abuse scandals world wide, usually involving youngsters, over the previous 20 years.

The abuse was systemic, Sauve stated at a public, on-line presentation of the report, including that the Church had proven “deep, total and even cruel indifference for years,” defending itself relatively than the victims.

The Church not solely didn’t take the required measures to stop abuse but in addition turned a blind eye, failing to report abuse and generally knowingly placing youngsters in contact with predators, he stated.

Speaking simply after Sauve on the presentation of the report, the archbishop of Reims and head of the French convention of bishops, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, spoke of disgrace, requested for forgiveness and promised to behave.

The fee was established by Catholic bishops in France on the finish of 2018 to make clear abuses and restore public confidence within the Church at a time of dwindling congregations. It has labored independently from the Church.

Sauve stated the issue was nonetheless there. He added that the Church had till the 2000s proven full indifference to victims and that it solely began to actually change its perspective in 2015-2016.


The Catholic Church’s instructing on topics akin to sexuality, obedience and the sanctity of the priesthood helped created blind spots which allowed sexual abuse by clergy to occur, Sauve stated, including that the church wanted to reform the way in which it approached these points to rebuild belief with society.

Sauve stated the fee itself had recognized round 2,700 victims by a name for testimony, and 1000’s extra had been present in archives.

But a wide-ranging research by analysis and polling teams estimated that there had been round 216,000 victims, and the quantity might rise to 330,000 when together with abuse by lay members.

There have been round 2,900-3,200 suspected paedophiles within the French Church over the past 70 years, Sauve stated.

“You are a disgrace to our humanity,” Francois Devaux, who arrange victims’ affiliation La Parole Liberee, informed church representatives on the public presentation of the report, earlier than Sauve took the ground.

“In this hell there have been abominable mass crimes … but there has been even worse, betrayal of trust, betrayal of morale, betrayal of children,” Devaux stated, additionally accusing the Church of cowardice.

He thanked the fee, saying he hoped the report would show a turning level: “You finally bring victims an institutional recognition of the responsibility of the Church.”

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Christian Lowe, Tnagi Salaun; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Gareth Jones and Mike Collett-White

A woman walks into the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, France, October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

A statue of Saint Anthony of Padua is seen inside the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, France, October 4, 2021. Picture taken October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

A woman prays inside the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, France, October 4, 2021. Picture taken October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier