The Church apologizes for the 216,000 cases of abuse of minors registered in France

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At least 216,000 minors have been abused by priests or religious in the French Church since 1950, according to the report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the French Church (Ciase).

The figure rises to 330,000 victims if the cases of abuse committed by lay people on mission of the Church are added, such as in the field of Catholic education or youth organizations.

This was indicated this Tuesday, October 5, at a press conference from Paris, by the president of the Independent Commission that investigates sexual abuse against children in the Church of France, Jean-Marc Sauvé.

According to the French press, last Sunday, Jean-Marc Sauvé had already revealed that the report had estimated between 2,900 and 3,200 the number of clergymen and religious who have committed sexual abuse against minors since 1950.

The Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church of France (Ciase), was created in 2018 at the request of the episcopate and religious institutes after several scandals.

The bishops, overwhelmed

The President of the French Episcopal Conference and Archbishop of Reims, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, has described the data as “overwhelming” because it “goes beyond” what they “could have imagined.”

“It is truly unbearable that so many lives of children and young people have been damaged and almost nothing has been sighted, reported, accompanied, taken care of,” he lamented.

To people who have been victims of such acts by priests, men and women religious or other people of the Church, the president of the French bishops has expressed his “forgiveness” and has said that he feels “ashamed” for what happened.

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Likewise, he has assured them of his “determination to act” with them “so that the refusal to see, the refusal to listen, the desire to hide the facts, the reluctance to denounce them publicly disappear from the attitudes of the ecclesial authorities, priests and agents pastoral ».

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