The French Catholic church acknowledges a staggering pattern of sexual abuse

Hundreds of thousands were victimised over 70 years

THE SHEER number was overwhelming. Between 1950 and 2020 at least 216,000 children were sexually abused in France by Catholic clergy. Thus, on October 5th, concluded a two-year independent inquiry commissioned by the church. Jean-Marc Sauvé, who led it, said it uncovered “the lead weight of silence smothering the crimes” committed by 2,900-3,200 clergy. If lay molesters involved in church activities were also included, the number of abused could reach 330,000.

Mr Sauvé’s introduction to the report is chilling and unflinching: “The Catholic church’s immediate reaction was to protect itself as an institution” and it “has shown complete, even cruel, indifference to those who suffered”. About 90% of the victims were boys, many between ten and 13 years old. He called for “a humble acknowledgement of responsibility from the church authorities for the mistakes and crimes committed under its auspices”.

Source: The French Catholic church acknowledges a staggering pattern of sexual abuse | The Economist

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