A few details are enough to get an idea of the horror so many children in France suffered from the Catholic Church.
According to projections by an investigative commission, 216,000 children and young people have been victims of sexual abuse since the 1950s. Including the facilities run by the church, it is assumed that 330,000 victims, said the President of the Independent Abuse Commission in the Church (CIASE), Jean-Marc Sauvé, on Tuesday in Paris.
80 percent of the victims were boys between the ages of 10 and 13, and 20 percent girls of different age groups. The acts were rape in almost a third of the cases. According to the Daily Mail, nuns also abused girls with crucifixes.
▶ ︎ “The numbers are staggering and cannot remain without consequences,” said the Commission President. The victims suffered suffering, isolation and often shame and guilt. Almost half of them still suffered from the consequences even after many years. According to the study, clergymen were responsible for almost two thirds of the cases of abuse and church employees for the remaining cases. 2900 to 3200 clergy have been identified as perpetrators since 1950. According to the study, the Catholic Church in France is the place with the highest risk of abuse according to family and friends.
Pope Francis was affected by the results of the study. His thoughts are primarily with the victims. He feels great sadness for their injuries and gratitude for their courage to denounce them, said a papal spokesman.
The founder of the victims’ association “La Parole Libérée”, François Devaux, warned the Church at the presentation of the eagerly awaited report in France: “You have to pay for all these crimes.” It will be billions of dollars.
The French bishops’ conference announced consequences. “We are ashamed and indignant in the face of so many broken, often shattered lives,” said Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, chairman of the Episcopal Conference. All necessary steps will be taken to ensure that such a scandal does not happen again. Action should be taken at the November meeting of church bodies.
The German Association of Victims of Church Abuse, Eckiger Tisch, emphasized the importance of independent investigations, as is now the case in France. “That is still missing in Germany thanks to the hesitant resistance of the German churches, even eleven years after the abuse scandal,” said association spokesman Matthias Katsch. Politicians have let it go too long and there is a lack of courageous processing of the results of German abuse studies.