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Report finds 216,000 children were victims of French clergy sex abuse since 1950

By Reuters | October 5th 2021

A woman walks into the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, France. [Reuters]

An investigation into sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church has found that an estimated 216,000 children were victims of abuse at the hands of clergy since 1950, Jean-March Sauve, head of the commission that compiled the report, said on Tuesday.

The scandal in France is the latest to hit the Roman Catholic Church, which has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.

The commission was established by Catholic bishops in France at the end of 2018 to shed light on abuses and restore public confidence in the Church at a time of dwindling congregations. It has worked independently from the Church.

Sauve said at a public, online presentation of the report that the problem was still there. He added that the Church had until the decade of the 2000s showed complete indifference to victims.

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