A 2,500-page report conducted by an independent inquiry into allegations of abuse and subsequent cover-ups within France’s Catholic Church has declared that a “veil of silence” allowed clergy to assault victims for decades.
Jean-Marc Sauve, the president of the commission that examined the allegations, found the French Catholic Church had shown a profound and even cruel indifference towards the victim up until the 2000’s, condemning the church’s hierarchy and dysfunction for failing to stop it.
Over the past 70 years, the inquiry established roughly 216,000 children were the victims of abuse, with that number potentially growing to 330,000 when including lay members.
Out of a total of 115,000 priests and clergy during that time, evidence showed 2,900 to 3,200 were accused of abuse. One top aggressor even created 70 victims.
Sauve blamed a “veil of silence” within the French Catholic Church, ensuring that victims were “not believed, not heard,” and allowing “systemic” abuse to proliferate for decades unchallenged.
The commission had spent two and a half years examining evidence, speaking to victims and witnesses, and investigating archives from the church, courts, police, and press, dating back to the 1950’s.
A telephone line established to field calls from potential victims or those who knew someone who’d been abused took around 6,500 calls.
The inquiry has handed 22 allegations of crimes to prosecutors for them to consider if charges can be brought against alleged abusers.
More than 40 cases deemed criminal could not be prosecuted, as they are too old, even though the alleged assailants are still alive. Those cases will be provided to church officials to be handled within the clergy.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.