Hundreds of thousands of people were abused by Catholic priests, investigation reveals

Hundreds of thousands of children have been abused by priests in the French Catholic Church since the 1950s, a report claims.

According to a new report following two and a half years of research, around 216,000 children have been victims of pedophiles from the French Catholic Church. Jean-Marc Sauvé, head of the investigating panel, claims the figure may rise further when taking into account abuse committed by lay members of the Church, as per Unilad.

In 2018, an independent commission of 22 legal professionals, doctors, historians, sociologists, and theologians was composed in response to various disturbing revelations about widespread child abuse within the Catholic Church. It followed the approval of Pope Francis’ landmark measure demanding those within the Church to report any knowledge of sex abuse to their superiors.

The 2,500-page report released yesterday, October 5th, includes thorough research within Church, police, and court archives, as well as interviews with victims and witnesses.

One victim describes the report as “a turning point in French history.”

As per BBC, Sauvé, who claimed there were at least 2,900 to 3,200 abusers out of 115,000 priests and other clerics, accused the Church of showing a “cruel indifference towards the victims.” 

It was revealed that the “vast majority” of the abuse sufferers were pre-adolescent boys from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.

The paper states:

“The Catholic Church is, after the circle of family and friends, the environment that has the highest prevalence of sexual violence.”

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