Camille's editorial of October 5: Sexual abuse in the Church

This October 5, 2021 is a difficult day for Catholics in France who discover, no doubt with fear, the overwhelming conclusions of the report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE). 

Le CIASE report consisting of 485 pages with over 2 appendix pages conjures up terrible numbers. It reveals that 500 minors would have been abused by clerics and religious in France between 216 and 000. A figure which climbs to "1950 if we add the lay aggressors working in the institutions of the Catholic Church" adds Jean-Marc Sauvé, the chairman of the commission.

This October 5 is also the day when a bill against the practice of conversion therapy carried by the deputy Laurence Vanceunebrock (LREM) was examined in the National Assembly. The text intends to define this practice and put in place sanctions to eradicate it.

In this context, the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) and the Catholic Church recalled “their opposition to these practices”.

Another country, another bill. Pakistan is currently working on a anti-conversion bill. For minorities, it would be a question of fighting against the growing phenomenon of forced conversions to Islam.

A text that divides. On September 27, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke out and said his government would not enact any anti-Islamic laws. Because according to him, the government bills concerning domestic violence and forced conversions contain provisions which are "in direct conflict with the teachings of Islam". Words that aroused the indignation of Christians in the country.

To end with a more positive news, Olivier Giroud, the 2018 world champion and AC Milan striker, who does not miss an opportunity to testify to his Christian faith, will be one of the speakers at the Center Évangélique 2021 which will take place in Paris and online on November 22 and 23.

In conclusion, I would like to invite us to pray for the victims of sexual abuse, the terrible figures revealed by the report of the CIASE should invite us to become aware of this problem and to fight it in all our Christian churches.

Camille Westphal Perrier 

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