Breaking the silence

Breaking the silence

Victims of abuse in the Catholic Church © Harald Tittel

The commission to investigate sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in France is now taking statements from victims. Victims can now also be heard in a confidential exchange.

According to the report, the testimonies are intended to contribute to coming to terms with cases of abuse and the way church authorities have dealt with them since 1950, as well as to review the measures that were taken in this field from the 2000s onwards. By the end of 2020, the commission plans to present a report that will include recommendations in the area of prevention.

Far-reaching concept

The basis was a broad concept of abuse, it was said. This includes all forms of assault, sexual exploitation or harassment committed by clergy or religious. The appeal, which has now been published, is explicitly addressed not only to those affected who were minors at the time of the crime, but also to adults who have been subjected to sexual assault or harassment as a result of a relationship of power or trust.

The Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) was established by the French bishops and religious superiors. It began its work in February. Chaired by Jean-Marc Sauve, former vice president of the French supreme administrative court.

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