They have no end revelations of child sexual abuse and years of torture in the catholic church. Accused low-ranking but also high-ranking clergymen as well as nuns. According a convict report nuns in France even used crosses to rape girls.
The report’s decades of abuse by clergy in the French Catholic Church, which exposed the attacks on 330,000 children covered by “a veil of silence”.
The 2,500-page landmark report was released a few days ago after more than two years of research by an independent committee, in France’s first major confrontation with the disgusting phenomenon.
The revelations of a battered girl who broke the veil of silence
A victim named “Marie” testified that she was abused as an 11-year-old and that when she complained about the abuse to her parents, they refused to believe her and could not accept that a nun could commit such acts. The abuse continued for another year.
“I was really a gift to this nun… Because she knew very well that nothing was in danger,” Marie said.
Eighty percent of the victims were young boys between the ages of 10 and 13, but many girls were also abused, not only by priests but also by nuns.
The nuns used crosses to rape little girls or force boys to have sex with them, according to the report.
Pope Francis today expressed to the victims his “great sorrow for their wounds”, adding that he was grateful for the courage they had shown in denouncing what they had gone through.
The shocking facts and the Pope’s reaction
The survey found that approximately 330,000 children were sexually abused within the French Catholic Church between 1950 and 2020, and an estimated 216,000 people were abused by priests and other clergy.
Olivier Saviania, who was sexually abused by a priest in 1993 at the age of 13, contributed to the exhibition as a representative of the victims.
“I saw this priest as someone who was good, someone who would not hurt me,” Savinia said. “But when I found myself in this bed half naked and he touched me then I realized that something was wrong.”
“It’s an earthquake, a hurricane, a tsunami; when you look at those numbers, it’s so great that no one can remain in denial, either the Catholic Church or society as a whole,” he added.
A statement from the Vatican and the Pope said: “First of all thoughts go to the victims, with great sadness, about their wounds.”
The President of the Conference of the Dioceses of France, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, stated that “We are appalled” by the conclusions of the report and the numbers of victims.
He said: “This report is harsh, it is serious. We have heard the voices of the victims, we have heard their numbers, it is beyond what we could imagine. It is really unbearable. I express my shame, my fear, my determination to act. I, the victims, some of whom I know by your name, want to tell you that my wish this day is to ask for your forgiveness.
The committee that drafted the report urged compensation for the victims and the strong actions by the Church, denouncing “defects” and “silence”.
The chairman of the commission that issued the report, Jean-Marc Saouve, said the assessment, based on scientific research, included abuses committed by priests and other clergy as well as people outside the clergy but with ties to the church.
The report states that an estimated 3,000 pedophiles – two-thirds of priests – have abused hundreds of thousands, mostly young boys, in Catholic schools and other institutions.
About 86% of the victims were male children, many of whom did not report the abuse they had suffered for decades.