The bishops of France in the southwestern city of Lourdes acknowledged the “responsibility of the Church as an institution” for the sexual violence that affected thousands of victims, and announced the expulsion of all those involved in these crimes from the Church.
This was stated by the head of the French Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Eric de Moulin Beaufort, who considered that these sexual crimes against children, whose size was revealed by an independent commission in a recent report, “fall within a general framework, work patterns, mentalities and practices within the Church that made them possible,” adding that ” This responsibility entails a duty of justice and compensation.”
The bishops announced in March that the Church was determined to “assume its responsibility by asking forgiveness for these crimes and loopholes.”
In light of the report of a diocesan committee headed by Jean-Marc Sauvier, Monsignor de Moulin Beaufort stressed that the Church was affirming its determination “stronger and clearer” to recognize responsibility and eradicate this phenomenon.
He added, “We will work on the basis of this common base” to discuss the other recommendations contained in the report.
And counted about 216,000 people under the age of 18 for sexual abuse since 1950 by priests and clergy in France. The number of aggressors was estimated at about three thousand during seventy years.