RT reports that victims of sexual abuse have told RT that the French Catholic Church needs to move past apologies, admissions of guilt and genuine protection for children.
On Friday, the influential Bishops’ Conference of France (CEF) recognized that the Church bore “institutional responsibility”There are many child abuse cases in its ranks.
This statement was made one month after Jean-Marc Sauve, former Vice President of the Council of State, conducted an independent investigation that found that 21.6K children had been abused between 1950-2020 by deacons, priests and religious workers.
Arnaud Galais (prevenir et proteger) is the founder of Prevenir et Proteger, a support group for survivors of sexual abuse. He told RT that the admission by the Church leadership was a blatant lie. “positive,”But it’s a tardive move.
Up until recent times, the Church “has viewed itself as being above the law,”A sincere confession was the minimum the clergy could do in order to correct the offenses, he said.
Gallais, a distant relative of a Catholic missionary who was eighteen to eleven years old, was subject to abuse. The Sauve Commission documented many other tragic tales, including Gallais’ testimony.
Gallais pointed out that confessions of guilt by the Church should be followed up with concrete actions to prevent future crimes. Gallais also stressed that compensations for victims of trauma, which must now include bishops. According to the campaigner, the French government should hold the Church responsible and force the clergy to answer. “guarantee the safety of children.”
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The Vatican is exempt from diplomatic sanctions, European court of human rights says.
Francois Devaux (co-founder of La Parole Liberee, a victims’ organization for sexual abuse victims), was another survivor who is skeptical about Church’s ability to make real change.
It’s a good thing to make strong statements and accept responsibility. That’s what society expects. However, it appears that, besides the words, nothing is ever done.
Devaux was 11 years old when he was a scout and was molested at the hands of a priest. He said that widespread child abuses infringe on the Catholic Church’s faith not only in France but around the globe.
Pope Francis now has to acknowledge the institution responsibility of the Church “for all its crimes and offenses,”They also have their “systematic character and frightening scale,” Devaux told RT.
Luc Crepy (head of CEF’s anti-pedophile section) said this week that compensations will be discussed as the Church establishes a methodology for determining how much should be paid to victims.
“Maybe in the next few weeks, we will be in a better position to give the figures. It is starting to cost several hundred thousand euros,” CEF Secretary-General Hugues de Woillemont told reporters.
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