Head Of French Church Kid Abuse Probe States Possibly 10,000 Victims

The head of an independent enquiry examining church kid abuse in France said Tuesday that there may have been at least 10,000 victims since 1950.

Jean-Marc Sauve, head of a commission established by the Catholic Church, stated that a previous estimate in June in 2015 of 3,000 victims “is definitely an underestimate.”

” It’s possible that the figure is at least 10,000,” he added at an interview where he provided an update on the commission’s work.

A hotline set up in June 2019 for victims and witnesses to report abuse received 6,500 calls in the very first 17 months of operation.

Accusations against priests and senior Catholic figures have actually resulted in pay-outs and prosecutions worldwide AFP/ ERIC CABANIS

” The huge concern for us is ‘the number of victims came forward’? Is it 25 percent? 10 percent, 5 percent or less?” Sauve told press reporters.

The Bishops’ Conference of France concurred in November 2018 to set up the commission after substantial and repeated child abuse scandals shook the Catholic Church in the house and abroad.

The relocation sparked mixed responses from victims’ associations at the time, who praised efforts to motivate survivors to speak out, however questioned French district attorneys’ willingness and ability to press charges.

Responding to the brand-new estimate on Tuesday, several victims’ associations said they presumed that even 10,000 was an underestimate.

” It’s the idea of the iceberg, it’s certainly much more,” stated Veronique Garnier from the group Faith and Resilience.

Jean-Marc Sauve, head of a commission established by the Catholic Church, stated that a previous quote of 3,000 victims “is definitely an underestimate” AFP/ Lionel BONAVENTURE

” 10,000 is a lot however it’s the bottom of the scale. We’re far from the truth,” said Jean-Pierre Sautreau, who heads a victims’ group in the Vendee area in western France.

The commission, consisted of more than 20 figures drawn from legal, scholastic and medical backgrounds, was initially scheduled to provide a last report by the end of 2020 but has set a brand-new deadline of September this year.

Sauve said the last report would provide “broad conclusions” which would seek to respond to the question of “how we got here, beyond the failings and private criminal offenses of priests and spiritual figures.”

Claims against priests and senior Catholic figures have actually resulted in pay-outs and prosecutions worldwide, in addition to modifications to church teaching.

In 2019, a French court offered the archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Barbarin, a six-month suspended prison sentence for covering for a priest, Bernard Preynat, who was accused of attacking around 70 scouts between 1986 and 1991.

Barbarin’s conviction was reversed on appeal in 2020, however the Pope accepted his resignation.

Preyant was given a five-year prison term in 2020.

In May 2019, Pope Francis passed a landmark brand-new procedure obliging anybody in the Church who knew about sex abuse to report it to their superiors.

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