The ecclesiastical establishment announces the first measures after the publication last month of a devastating report on the abuse of children
He promises compensation for all victims and will ask Pope Francis for help
La Ifrench church will use its own means to compensate victims of sexual assault on minors. A month after the publication of the devastating Sauvé report, the Gallic ecclesiastical establishment announced this Monday the first measures to deal with this “systemic” scourge. The most prominent of these is that this body will use its abundant real estate assets, a loan and other funds to guarantee the compensation of all the victims declared since 1950.
More than 200,000 French children suffered sexual abuse by religious – the figure would rise to 330,000 if the laity who worked in Catholic institutions are taken into account – since the middle of the last century, as revealed on October 5 Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE), prepared for two and a half years at the initiative of the Church itself. A shocking report received with a cold response from the ecclesiastical authorities, which accentuated the criticism of this body. And the pressure increased before the celebration, between November 2 and 8, of the plenary assembly of the French bishops in Lourdes.
“All those victims who report it will receive compensation,” he said early Monday afternoon. Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the Episcopal Conference of France. At the closing press conference of this national meeting, he indicated that an independent commission, directed by the jurist Marie Derain de Vaucresson, will be in charge of granting and deciding the amount of these compensations. “We do not know how much they will cost,” Moulins-Beaufort acknowledged about financial compensation that could reach astronomical figures, taking into account the high number of victims.
Help Pope Francis
The French bishops also decided to ask the Pope Francisco “Send someone you trust to examine” how victims and their attackers have been and are being treated, explained its president. In addition, they will create working groups – made up of religious, lay people and victims of abuse – to reflect on the “diocesan governance “ and propose possible reforms. These four measures, which will be applied immediately, received an affirmative vote from “an immense majority” of the 120 prelates present at the assembly.
The response of the French Church was long in coming, but it seems to have satisfied the victims’ associations. In fact, the ecclesiastical authorities they already recognized last Friday the responsibility of your institution in the face of these abuses and systemic character. “These are historical words. It is the first time in the world that the institutional responsibility of the Church has been recognized,” he said. Francois Devaux, victim of the monk Bernard Preynat -one of the best known aggressors in France- and president of the asociación Liberated Word. “The French bishops may have seemed distant in the weeks after the CIASE report was published. But something seems to have changed,” the Christian daily highlighted in its editorial Monday. The cross.