Commission heard thousands of French people to estimate numbers of abuses suffered by minors in the church in the European country in 70 years
The Independent Commission on Pedocrime in Catholic church released on Monday, 4, the results of a study that show that more than 200,000 children have suffered sexual abuse of church clergy in France over the past 70 years. The 2,500-page document showed that around 3,000 priests and other religious representatives committed abuses against children and adolescents in a “systematic” manner. Considering the abusers who had no religious positions, but also worked in other sectors of the church, the number of children victims of sexual violence in the country rises to 330,000; 80% of abused minors between the 1950s and 2020 were male and, according to the survey, the authorities of the agency were aware of what happened and covered up the actions in a “systematic manner”.
Data analysis was carried out in partnership with the National Institute of Health and Medical Research of France, which conducted online interviews with more than 28,000 people for two months. The director of the association of victims Fale e Viva de Novo, Olivier Savignac, was one of those who helped the commission in the research. According to him, who was abused by the director of a church summer camp at age 13, one of the body’s biggest problems was treating the cases as isolated, not as a “collective horror.” The priest who raped him had made a number of other victims, was tried and sentenced to a year in prison in 2018, needing to serve only half his term behind bars. The president of the French Bishops’ Conference, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, said the clerics were “shocked” by the study’s results and asked the victims for forgiveness.