An independent inquiry into alleged sex abuse of minors by French Catholic priests, deacons and other clergy has found some 216,000 victims from 1950 to 2020, a “massive phenomenon” that was covered up for decades by a “veil of silence.”
Via The Local:
The landmark report, released on Tuesday after two and a half years of investigations, follows widespread outrage over a string of sex abuse claims and prosecutions against Church officials worldwide.
When lay members of the Church such as teachers at Catholic schools are included, the number of child abuse victims climbs to 330,000 over the seven-decade period.
The report, at nearly 2,500 pages, found that the “vast majority” of victims were pre-adolescent boys from a wide variety of social backgrounds.
“The Catholic Church is, after the circle of family and friends, the environment that has the highest prevalence of sexual violence,” the report said.
Commission president Jean-Marc Sauve had already told AFP on Sunday that a “minimum estimate” of 2,900 to 3,200 paedophiles had operated in the French Church since 1950.
Yet only a handful of cases prompted disciplinary action under canonical law, let alone criminal prosecution.