The Commission of Inquiry into Historical Injuries has identified thousands of Catholic priests as involved in “systematic” abuse.
An independent investigation has found that about 216,000 children have been sexually abused by French Catholic priests, deacons and other clergy since 2150, an incident that has been shrouded in a “veil of silence” for decades.
The latest statement from the Roman Catholic Church, released after a series of global sexual abuse scandals over the past 20 years, was released on Tuesday.
Jean-Marc Sauve, head of the commission compiling the report of the investigation, said the abuse in France was “systematic” and that it was committed by about 3,000,000 priests and others involved in the church.
Eighty percent of the dead were boys.
Speaking in a public, online presentation of the report, Subh added that the church had shown “deep, complete and even brutal indifference over the years”, defending itself more than the victims.
He said the church has not only failed to take the necessary preventive measures, but has also turned a blind eye to child abuse and sometimes deliberate exposure to predators.
“The consequences are very serious,” Sauv said. “About 60 percent of women and men who have been sexually abused experience major emotional or sexual problems.”
The victims expressed their displeasure towards this study.
“You are a disgrace to our humanity,” he told church representatives at the presentation.
“This hell has been a heinous mass crime … but there have been more horrific incidents, betrayal of faith, betrayal of morale, betrayal of children,” Devox said.
The 2,500-page document, prepared by the Independent Commission, comes at a time when the Catholic Church in France, like other countries, wants to face a shameful mystery that has long been a secret.
Speaking after Sove in the presentation of the report, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, Archbishop of Remes and head of the French Conference of Bishops, apologized and promised to act.
The commission was set up by Catholic bishops in France in late 2018 to shed light on the abuse and restore public confidence in the church.
It has worked independently of the church for two and a half years, listening to victims and witnesses, and studying the church, courts, police, and press archives since the 1950s.
The commission itself has identified about 2,200 victims through a testimony call, and thousands more have been found in archives, Sove said.
But an extensive study examining the research and results of the polling group estimated that there were about 216,000 victims, the number could be up to 330,000 when abused by ordinary members.
The 22 alleged crimes that could still go on have been sent to prosecutors, Sove said.
More than 400 cases that are thought to be too old to be tried under French law, but involving alleged perpetrators who are still alive, have been referred to church officials.
The commission has issued five recommendations on how to prevent abuse. These included training priests and other scholars, amending the canon law – the legal code used to govern the Vatican church – and formulating policies to identify and compensate victims.