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French Catholic Church to Sell Assets to Repay 200,000 Sex Abuse Victims

Eric de Moulins-Beaufort (C), archbishop of Reims and President of the Conference des Eveques de France (CEF - French Bishops' Conference) delivers the closing speech on the occasion of the last day of the CEF, in Lourdes, south-western France, on November 8, 2021. - The annual meeting of bishops began on November 2, 2021 in Lourdes where they have a week to reflect on the follow-up to be given to the revelations of the Sauve report, a month after its publication, on the extent of child crime in the Catholic Church. (Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP) (Photo by VALENTINE CHAPUIS/AFP via Getty Images)

French Catholic Church to repay the thousands of children who clergy have sexually abused after bishops decided on Monday to sell a portion of the vast real estate assets. According to a France24 report, church leaders have been under pressure to compensate victims. This was after a landmark investigation revealed widespread sexual abuse of kids by priests from the 1950s to 2020.

Bishop of Creteil and CEF Vice-President Dominique Blanchet (L), Archbishop of Reims and CEF President Eric de Moulins-Beaufort (C), and Bishop of Arras and CEF Vice-President Olivier Leborgne (R) give a press conference during the Conference des Eveques de France (CEF – French Bishops’ Conference) in Lourdes, southwestern France, on November 8, 2021. – The annual meeting of bishops begins on November 2, 2021 in Lourdes where they have a week to reflect on the follow-up to be given to the revelations of the Sauve report, a month after its publication, on the extent of child crime in the Catholic Church. (Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP) (Photo by VALENTINE CHAPUIS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

French Catholic Church: Sexual Abuse Scandal Unveiled

Clergy members’ rampant sexual abuse shocked Roman Catholic Church globally in a newest and most contentious problem. Moulins-Beaufort expressed disgust and outrage after learning the depth of the damage the church members who allegedly committed the sexual abuse offenses caused.

The larger investigation that approximated the number of victims was conducted by France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research investigating sexual abuse of children in the country. A 2,500-page study was issued, with 45 suggestions for the Church, including priests and other clerics being trained, canon law being revised, and programs to recognize and pay the victims.

While France is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, it has maintained a rigorous kind of secularism in public life, according to Al Jazeera, thanks to a 1905 statute separating Church and state. According to Olivier Savignac, a member of De la parole aux actes!, an umbrella organization of victim organizations formed after publishing the comprehensive report, victims are now waiting to see how the Church will implement the measure and how they will communicate with the victims.

ALSO READ: Former Elementary School Principal Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Children; Elementary Schools On Alert

Church to Sell Assets, Properties For Thousands of Sexual Abuse Victims

Bishops unanimously accepted the proposal on Monday, and it was only one of several that they endorsed. Victims’ organizations applauded the decision, hailing it as a significant step forward in the French Catholic Church’s confrontation with sexual abuse of its members.

The organisations, however, stated that thorough monitoring of the measures’ implementation is required. According to the New York Times, the Church also agreed to establish an independent compensation organization to handle victim claims.

In the previous 70 years, clerical members in the French Catholic Church have assaulted almost 200,000 children, according to a report. The decision to pay the large number of victims will result in a fund that will be “funded to whatever degree required by the selling of real estate and other assets.”

If the proceeds from the asset sale are insufficient, Moulins-Beaufort said the Church would be willing to take out loans to cover the victims’ compensation. According to the lawsuit, reports of clergy sexual assault were met with “deep, complete, and even sadistic apathy for years,” according to the lawsuit. According to Reuters, the investigation also said that the French Catholic Church chose to protect itself and its members above the victims of abuse.

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