France Catholic Church: Pope expresses ‘shame’ over Church response to sexual abuse survivors following report

Francis was talking a day after a landmark report discovered that members of the Catholic clergy in France sexually abused an estimated 216,000 minors over the previous seven many years and that the Church prioritized the safety of the establishment over survivors who have been urged to remain silent.

The variety of abused minors rises to an estimated 330,000 when together with victims of people that weren’t clergy however had different hyperlinks to the Church, similar to Catholic colleges and youth packages.

The damning French report follows comparable investigations in different nations which have dealt a blow to the fame of the Catholic Church lately.

In his weekly remarks on the Vatican on Wednesday morning, the Pope expressed his disgrace that the Church has ignored sexual abuse victims for too lengthy, saying that he desires the Church to be a “secure residence for everybody.”

The Pope didn’t instantly deal with allegations of ongoing abuse in his Wednesday feedback. Nonetheless, he inspired bishops and Church leaders to “proceed to make each effort to make sure that comparable tragedies don’t occur once more.”

“I specific closeness and paternal help to the clergymen of France within the face of this proof,” he mentioned, including: “It’s exhausting. However is it wholesome.”

Pope Francis holds his weekly general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.

Francis additionally assured sexual abuse survivors of his prayers and mentioned: “I want to specific my sorrow and my ache to the victims for the trauma that they’ve suffered and likewise my disgrace, our disgrace, my disgrace for the too lengthy incapacity of the church to place them on the middle of its consideration.”

The report mentioned that “the Catholic Church is the place the place the prevalence of sexual violence is at its highest, apart from in household and pal circles.” It discovered that youngsters have been additionally extra more likely to abused inside Church settings than in state-run colleges or summer time camps.

Jean-Marc Sauvé, the president of the Unbiased Fee on Sexual Abuse within the Church (CIASE) which authored the report, mentioned Tuesday that whereas a lot of the violence occurred between 1950 and 1968, it nonetheless persists in the present day.

Abuse of minors inside the Church accounts for near 4% of all sexual violence in France, in accordance with Sauvé.

“The issue shouldn’t be behind us, it’s nonetheless right here,” he mentioned.

More than 200,000 children sexually abused by French Catholic clergy, damning report finds
Between 2,900 and 3,200 abusers have been estimated to have labored within the French Catholic Church between 1950 and 2020, out of a complete of 115,000 clergymen and different clerics, in accordance with the report.
And whereas the Church has taken “important steps” to stop sexual violence lately, the report described them as reactive and inadequate, warning that though “these acts of violence have been in decline up till the early Nineties, they’ve since stopped lowering.

Greater than half the abuses detailed within the report occurred earlier than 1969, when the Church in France ignored abuse by individuals it put in energy, in accordance with Sauvé.

“This primary interval … is marked by completely whole indifference of the Church in direction of victims. The struggling of victims, the hurt (suffered by) victims, the trauma of victims, in reality, doesn’t exist,” Sauvé instructed CNN.

Over 70 years, “the Church’s angle may very well be summarized as considered one of concealment, relativization and even denial, with solely a really current recognition relationship from 2015, and even then, unequally accepted by dioceses and spiritual establishments,” the report mentioned.

CNN’s Simon Bouvier and Sam Bradpiece contributed reporting.

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