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Thread: Horror report about the Catholic Church in France

  1. #1
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    Oct 2011

    Default Horror report about the Catholic Church in France

    Horror report about the Catholic Church in France

    Nuns abused girls with crucifixes


    Thousands of children in the Catholic Church in France were abused in the name of the cross

    Just a few details are enough to get an idea of ​​the horror so many children in France suffered from the Catholic Church.

    According to projections by an investigative commission, 216,000 children and young people have been victims of sexual abuse since the 1950s. If one includes institutions that are run by the church, one assumes as much as 330,000 victims. That said Jean-Marc Sauvé, the President of the Independent Abuse Commission in the Church (CIASE), on Tuesday in Paris.

    80 percent of the victims were boys between the ages of 10 and 13, and 20 percent girls of different age groups. The acts were rape in almost a third of the cases. According to the nuns also abused girls, with crucifixes.

    "The numbers are staggering and cannot remain without consequences," said the Commission President. The victims suffered suffering, isolation and often shame and guilt. Almost half of them still suffered from the consequences even after many years.

    According to the study, clergymen were responsible for almost two thirds of the cases of abuse and church workers for the remaining cases. 2900 to 3200 clergy have been identified as perpetrators since 1950. According to the study, the Catholic Church in France is the place with the highest risk of abuse according to family and friends.

    Pope Francis was affected by the results of the study. His thoughts are primarily with the victims. He feels great sadness for their injuries and gratitude for their courage to denounce them, said a papal spokesman.

    The founder of the victims' association “La Parole Libérée”, François Devaux, warned the Church at the presentation of the eagerly awaited report in France: “You have to pay for all these crimes.” It will be billions of dollars.

    The French bishops' conference announced consequences. “We are ashamed and indignant in the face of so many broken, often shattered lives,” said Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, chairman of the Episcopal Conference. All the necessary steps will be taken to ensure that such a scandal does not happen again. Action should be taken at the November meeting of church bodies.

    The German Association of Victims of Church Abuse, Eckiger Tisch, emphasized the importance of independent investigations, as is now the case in France. "We still lack that in Germany thanks to the hesitant resistance of the German churches, even eleven years after the abuse scandal," said association spokesman Matthias Katsch. Politicians have let it go too long and there is a lack of courageous processing of the results of German abuse studies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Horror report about the Catholic Church in France

    Nuns used crucifixes to rape girls during decades of abuse carried out by clergy in France's Catholic Church that saw attacks on 330,000 children covered up 'by a veil of silence', damning report finds

    • Pope Francis expressed to the victims his 'great sorrow, for their wounds'
    • An estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse in France since 1950
    • Scale of the number of attacks was covered up for decades by a 'veil of silence'
    • Report was released Tuesday after after two-and-a-half-years of investigations

    By Clare Mccarthy and Peter Allen

    5 October 2021

    Nuns used crucifixes to rape girls during decades of abuse carried out by clergy in France's Catholic Church that saw attacks on 330,000 children covered up 'by a veil of silence', a damning report has found.

    The 2,500-page landmark report was released Tuesday after more than two years of investigations by an independent commission, in France's first major reckoning with the devastating phenomenon.

    A victim named 'Marie' testified that she was abused as an 11-year-old and that when she complained about the abuse to her parents they refused to believe a nun could do such a thing. The abuse continued for another year.

    'I was truly [a gift] for this nun... because she knew full well that she did not risk anything,' Marie said.

    Eighty per cent of victims were young boys between the ages of 10 and 13, however many girls also suffered abuse, not only by priests but also by nuns.

    Nuns used crucifixes to rape little girls or forced boys to have sex with them, according to the report.

    Pope Francis today expressed to the victims his 'great sorrow, for their wounds', adding that he was grateful for the courage they had shown in denouncing what they had been through.

    The investigation found that an estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse within France's Catholic Church between 1950 to 2020, with an estimated 216,000 people abused by priests and other clerics.

    Olivier Savignac, who was sexually abused by a priest in 1993, at the age of 13, has contributed to the report as a victims' representative.

    'I perceived this priest as someone who was good, a caring person who would not harm me,' said Savignac. 'But it was when I found myself on that bed half-naked and he was touching me that I realised something was wrong.'

    He says the abuse, which carried on for years, damaged him for life: 'It's like a growing cyst, it's like gangrene inside the victim's body and the victim's psyche.'

    'We can see how systemic it was ... with an estimated number of 216,000 victims,' Savignac told Reuters, adding that the Church could not have ignored something of that magnitude.

    'It's an earthquake, a hurricane, a tsunami ... when you see these numbers, it's so damning that no one can stay in denial, whether the Catholic Church or society as a whole,' he added.

    A statement from the Vatican said: 'First of all [the Pope's] thoughts go to the victims, with great sorrow, for their wounds.'

    '[His thoughts go to] the Church of France, so that, in the awareness of this terrible reality ... it may embark on a path of redemption,' the statement added.

    The President of the Conference of Bishops of France, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, said Tuesday 'we are appalled' at the conclusions of the report and the numbers of victims.

    He said: 'This report is tough, it is severe. We have heard the voices of the victims, we have heard their numbers, they are beyond what we could imagine.

    'It is truly unbearable. I express my shame, my dread, my determination to act. You, the victims, some of whom I know by name, I want to tell you that my desire on this day is to ask for your forgiveness.'

    The commission that compiled the report urged compensation for victims and strong action from the church, denouncing 'faults' and 'silence'.

    The president of the commission that issued the report, Jean-Marc Sauvé, said the estimate, based on scientific research, includes abuses committed by priests and others clerics as well as by non-religious people involved in the church.

    The report says an estimated 3,000 'criminal paedophiles' - two-thirds of them priests - have preyed on hundreds of thousands of mainly young boys who were at Catholic schools and other institutions.

    Some 86 per cent of victims were male children - many of whom did not report the abuse they suffered for decades.

    Sauvé said the overall figure of victims includes an estimated 216,000 people abused by priests and other clerics.

    The independent inquiry covered alleged sex abuse of minors by French Catholic priests, deacons and other clergy since 1950, and found the abuse was a 'massive phenomenon' that was covered up for decades by a 'veil of silence.'

    The independent commission, made up of 22 lawyers, doctors, historians, sociologists and theologians, worked for two-and-a-half years, listening to victims and witnesses and studying church, court, police and press archives starting from the 1950s.

    A hotline launched at the beginning of the probe received 6,500 calls from alleged victims or people who said they knew a victim.

    'The consequences are very serious,' Sauvé said. 'About 60 per cent of men and women who were sexually abused encounter major problems in their sentimental or sexual life.'

    The 2,500-page document comes as the Catholic Church in France, like in other countries, seeks to face up to shameful secrets that were long covered up and follows widespread outrage over a string of paedophilia claims and prosecutions against Church officials worldwide.

    Véronique Margron, President of the Conference of Religious People of France and a nun, spoke of 'crimes against humanity'.

    'Can we deal with this disaster?' asked Sister Margron, who said sexual abuse in the Church amounted to 'crimes against humanity'.

    She added: 'How do we overcome this? I do not know. We have not even finished reviewing everything.'

    Olivier Savignac, head of victims association 'Parler et Revivre' (Speak out and Live again), who contributed to the probe, told The Associated Press that the high ratio of victims per abuser is particularly 'terrifying for French society, for the Catholic Church.'

    He added that the report 'will have the effect of a bomb'.

    Sauvé denounced the church's attitude until the beginning of the 2000s as 'a deep, cruel indifference toward victims.'

    They were 'not believed or not heard' and sometimes suspected of being 'in part responsible' for what happened, he deplored.

    Sauvé said 22 alleged crimes that can still be pursued have been forwarded to prosecutors. More than 40 cases that are too old to be prosecuted but involve alleged perpetrators who are still alive have been forwarded to church officials.

    The commission issued 45 recommendations about how to prevent abuse. These included training priests and other clerics, revising Canon Law - the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the church - and fostering policies to recognize and compensate victims, Sauvé said.

    The report comes after a scandal surrounding now-defrocked priest Bernard Preynat rocked the French Catholic Church. Last year, Preynat was convicted of sexually abusing minors and given a five-year prison sentence. He acknowledged abusing more than 75 boys for decades.

    One of Preynat's victims, Francois Devaux, head of the victims group La Parole Libérée ('The Liberated Word'), told The Associated Press that 'with this report, the French church for the first time is going to the root of this systemic problem. The deviant institution must reform itself.'

    He said the number of victims the report identifies is 'a minimum.'

    'Some victims did not dare to speak out or trust the commission,' he said, expressing concerns that the church in France still 'hasn´t understood' and has sought to minimize its responsibilities.

    The church must not only acknowledge events but also compensate victims, Devaux said. 'It is indispensable that the church redresses the harm caused by all these crimes, and (financial) compensation is the first step.'

    The Preynat case led to the resignation last year of the former archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who has been accused of failing to report the abuses to civil authorities when he learned about them in the 2010s. France´s highest court ruled earlier this year that Barbarin did not cover up the case.

    French archbishops, in a message to parishioners read during Sunday Mass across the country, said the publication of the report is 'a test of truth and a tough and serious moment.'

    'We will receive and study these conclusions to adapt our actions,' the message said. 'The fight against pedophilia concerns all of us ... Our support and our prayers will keep going toward all the people who have been abused within the church.'

    Pope Francis issued in May 2019 a groundbreaking new church law requiring all Catholic priests and nuns around the world to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities.

    In June, Francis swiftly rejected an offer from Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of Germany's most prominent clerics and a close papal adviser, to resign as archbishop of Munich and Freising over the church´s mishandling of abuse cases.

    But he said a process of reform was necessary and every bishop must take responsibility for the 'catastrophe' of the crisis.

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