RCC in France: up to 10,000 people may have been sexually abused
Back in March of this year, Jean-Marc Sauvé, above, president of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE), revealed that, since 1950, “At least” 10,000 vulnerable children and adults fell prey to abusive Catholic priests and other members of the church hierarchy.
At the time, the Catholic News Agency reported that Sauvé, head of the commission, said the agency’s previous estimate of 3,000 victims was inaccurate due to the large number of people who made allegations of abuse after the CIASE was established by the Catholic Church in France.
The commission received testimony from June 2019 to October 2020, during which time it identified around 3,000 victims, but Sauvé said:
It certainly does not take into account the totality.
Sauvé said most of the events reported to CIASE took place in the 1950s and 1960s, and the abuse occurred primarily in schools, followed by catechism classes and youth movements or summer camps.
Thirty percent of victims who contacted the commission are over 70 and 50 percent are between 50 and 69 years old.
CIASE is interested not only in sexual abuse of minors, but also in abuse of vulnerable adults. Of the abuse accounts received, however, 87 percent were committed against minors.
Among young adult victims, 33 percent were members of religious communities or seminarians at the time of the abuse.
It can be said with great certainty that within the Catholic Church, the abuses mainly concerned men and not women, unlike society.
According to France 24The commission’s report is due for release on Tuesday, October 5, following a two-and-a-half-year investigation.
The report, which Sauvé says is 2,500 pages long, will attempt to quantify both the number of offenders and the number of victims.
She will also look at “the mechanisms, particularly institutional and cultural” within the Church that have allowed pedophiles to stay, and will propose 45 proposals.
The commission was set up in 2018 by the Catholic Church of France in response to several scandals that shook the Church in France and around the world.
His training also came after Pope Francis passed a landmark measure requiring those who know about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church to report it to their superiors.
Composed of 22 jurists, doctors, historians, sociologists and theologians, its mandate was to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse committed by clerics dating back to the 1950s.
When she began her work, she asked for testimonies and set up a hotline, then said she received thousands of messages in the months that followed.
Sauvé declined to provide an update on the number of priests and religious leaders who allegedly carried out the abuses. The latest estimate was that 1,500 people were guilty of abusive behavior.
In 2019, the former papal ambassador to France, ex-papal nuncio Luigi Ventura, above, was on trial for sexually assaulting five young men, including a Paris city official. One of the plaintiffs’ lawyers suggested that the charges were “the tip of the iceberg”.
Ventura, who fled France to return to the Vatican, was found guilty and given an eight-month suspended prison sentence, less than the derisively lenient ten-month suspended sentence recommended by the prosecutor.
However, four victims received € 13,000 in damages – a fraction of the maximum possible.
Hat tip: John Dowdle