Pope Regrets Catholic Church’s Failure to Protect Child Victims of Abuse

Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday (6/10) expressed regret that he and the Catholic Church had not done more to protect the hundreds of thousands of children sexually abused by the church’s clergy and members in France for decades.

French Catholic priests sexually abused more than 200,000 children in the country in the last 70 years, according to an independent commission investigation.

The panel’s report said another 100,000 children were victims of abuse by church members such as teachers in Catholic schools.

“Unfortunately there are quite a lot. I want to express to the victims my sadness and pain for the trauma they have suffered,” Pope Francis said at his weekly public appearance at the Vatican. “It is also my shame, our shame … for the church’s inability for too long to focus on them.”

The Pope said bishops must ensure “similar tragedies do not happen again.”

The panel’s report, released Tuesday, said the Catholic Church covered a “major phenomenon” with a “veil of silence” that lasted for decades.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday praised the French Catholic Church’s “accountable intent” for its decision to “confront” the scandal.

“Until the early 2000s, the Catholic Church displayed a deep and even cruel disregard for the victims,” ​​the report said.

The commission’s report, released after a two-and-a-half year investigation, said Catholic priests in France sexually abused some 216,000 minors since 1950 and that more than 110,000 had been victimized by church members. [my/ka]

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