Pope Francis changed the Roman Catholic Church's laws to explicitly criminalise sexual abuse earlier this year. It is the biggest overhaul of the criminal system for almost 40 years.
A new inquiry found that about 216,000 children have been sexually abused by clergy in the French Catholic Church. It has occurred since 1950.
About 216,000 children were victims of clergy in the French Church
The head of inquiry mentioned at least 2,900-3,200 abusers.
He also accused the Church of being cruel condescending towards the victims. After the findings, a senior figure in the French Church meant shame, horror, and asked for forgiveness. One of those victims mentioned the Church now should reassess its activities.
What happened in French Church make people feel betrayed
The founder of the victims’ association La Parole Libérée (Freed speech), François Devaux, mentioned those actions had been a betrayal of morale, betrayal of trust, and betrayal of children.
The figure itself didn’t count if abuses were committed by lay members of the Church, such as teachers at Catholic schools. If it is added, the number of children abused in France could grow to 330,000.
Mr Devaux stated that this incident was marked as a turning period in France’s history.
A report revealed detailed about abused in French Church
Nearly 2,500 pages long report revealed most of the children were boys while many of them aged between 10 and 13. The commission obtained proof of as many as 3,200 abusers.
The head of the inquiry, Jean-Marc Sauvé, called on the Church to pay apologies. The number itself is more than disturbing and in no way can continue without reply.
The president of the Bishops’ Conference of France (CEF), Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, responded “My desire today is to ask forgiveness from each of you“.
Pope Francis changed the Roman Catholic Church’s laws to explicitly criminalise sexual abuse earlier this year. It is the biggest overhaul of the criminal system for almost 40 years.