Child crime: the Church must not "turn the page", warn the victims


The Catholic Church must not "turn the page" on the pedocrime file, several victims' associations warned on Saturday, meeting for the first time in Paris, a year after the publication of the report which demonstrated the extent of the phenomenon.

"The Church must continue to raise awareness," said Olivier Savignac, from the collective Parler et revivre, at the end of a day bringing together 13 organizations representing victims of pedocriminal acts within the Church.

“It is not a question of turning the page, nor of resigning from these questions by deporting them to the commissions currently at work”, he warned during a press briefing.

This meeting, the first of this magnitude between victims' associations, was held a year after the revelation by an independent commission, chaired by senior civil servant Jean-Marc Sauvé, of the extent of child crime for several decades within the Church.

According to his figures, about 330.000 minors have been victims, in France and since the 1950s, of priests, deacons, religious or people linked to the Church.

This recognized the institutional and “systemic” nature of these acts, and set up two compensation commissions.

But the Sauvé commission was not received in Rome last year, as originally scheduled, provoking strong criticism from the victims.

"The memorial process belongs to the victims and cannot be (...) confiscated by the Church", warned Saturday Jean-René Nicoleau, of the Collective 85, representing the victims in Vendée.

Some associations also regret the slowness of compensation, only a small part of the files having succeeded for the time being, even if others are understanding about the complexity of managing the files.

In this context, Saturday's meeting aims to facilitate communication between the associations to make them more audible in the face of the Church and the reparation commissions.

This meeting "is already a first victory", assured Mr. Savignac, announcing the launch of a survey of victims, in particular to better understand the reasons why some have not made a claim for compensation.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: THOMAS COEX / POOL/ AFP

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