216,000 victims under the age of 18 have been sexually abused by priests and other clergy of the French Catholic Church since 1950, according to an investigation.
The groundbreaking report was released Tuesday morning after 2.5 years of investigation. The independent commission that produced the report was create by Catholic bishops in France at the end of 2018.
“You are a disgrace to our humanity. You have trampled on the obligation to protect life and human dignity, although this is the essence of your profession, ”said François Devaux, leader of the victim group La Parole Liberée (The Liberated Word), commenting on the results.
“You have to pay for all of these crimes,” he added, addressing church officials in the audience at the public presentation of the report in Paris.
Jean-Marc Sauvé, chairman of the independent commission that produced the report, said during the press conference that the majority of the victims, about 80 percent, were boys.
“Most of the victims were between 10 and 13 years old. Even 11 to 12 years old. They were boys. It is a clear feature of the Catholic Church, “Sauvé said, adding that” these numbers are more than worrying, they are overwhelming and there is no way they can be left without proper action. “
The Catholic Church in several European countries and the United States has been rocked by a spate of allegations made by members of the clergy widespread abuse of minors for years.