French Catholics demand action on abuse

Groups of victims of abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church in France are demanding concrete responses following a report which revealed more than 200,000 children were victimized by clergy over a period of 70 years.

They gathered on Saturday in Paris with victims sharing their experiences of abuse and condemned the Catholic hierarchy which has not taken any measures for so long.

A case of a man was introduced at the gathering. He was abused repeatedly by clergy when he was 11 during a summer camp.

A 46-year-old participant said that victims tend to feel ashamed but that the church should be the one to be ashamed. He added the silence that was kept too long should be broken.

An independent commission released a report of its findings in early October. It was investigating sexual abuses in the Catholic Church. The report says that at least 216,000 people in France have been victims of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2020.

The French bishops finally accepted on Friday that the Catholic Church bore an “institutional responsibility” in the abuse cases.

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