An estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse within France’s Catholic Church over the past 70 years, according to a report released Tuesday that represents the country’s first major accounting of the worldwide phenomenon.
The figure includes abuses committed by some 3,000 priests and other people involved in the church — wrongdoing that Catholic authorities covered up over decades in a “systemic manner,” according to the president of the commission that issued the report, Jean-Marc Sauvé…
The independent commission urged the church to take strong action, denouncing “faults” and “silence.” It also called on the Catholic Church to help compensate the victims, notably in cases that are too old to prosecute via the courts.
“The consequences are very serious,” Sauvé said. “About 60% of men and women who were sexually abused encounter major problems in their emotional or sexual life…”We consider the church has a debt towards victims,” he added.
The 2,500-page document was issued as the Catholic Church in France, like in other countries, seeks to face up to shameful secrets that were long covered up…
Francois Devaux, head of the victims’ group La Parole Libérée (The Liberated Word), said it was “a turning point in our history.”
He denounced the coverups that permitted “mass crimes for decades.”
“But even worse, there was a betrayal: betrayal of trust, betrayal of morality, betrayal of children, betrayal of innocence,” he said, calling on the church for compensation.
If there ever was a money-making operation that could afford to repay victims of crimes committed by the leaders, the authorities of that body, it is the Catholic Church. They rake it in every Sunday, regular as clockwork.
My only question is when will more brave victims come forward – in other nations?