Jean-Marc Sauvé, head of the French Institute of Administrative Sciences, presented new data from the Independent Commission of Sexual Abuse in the Church. He said that the commission had received more than 8,000 victim testimonies since June 2019 in response to a public appeal, and he now believed "at least 10,000" abuse cases occurred after 1950 in the French churches, rather than the 3,000 cited in a preliminary report last June (2020).
(Catherine Coleman Murphy, left, and Jack Wintermyer, right, protested along with others outside Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul before an Ash Wednesday Mass in Philadelphia.)
He added that 62% involved boys and 38% girls, with half of all cases dating from the 1950s and 1960s, and 30% from the 1970s and 1980s.
"The great question we still have to answer is how all of this could have happened. This is very much our mission, knowing how the Gospels demonstrate the radically intolerable nature of sexual abuse within the church," Jean-Marc Sauvé said.
"While there were systemic abuses within the church, there were also quasi-criminal enterprises, as in the rest of society, and extremely serious personal vices and faults in an institution that failed at all levels," Sauvé said. "Whereas girls and young women made up most victims in wider society, most victims in the church were boys. It was also characteristic that acts of violence and abuse were committed here not by unknown people, but by priests who were familiar with their victims and trusted by them."
Sauvé said his commission had conducted investigations among France's religious orders and 94 metropolitan dioceses and had also circulated a questionnaire to 30,000 people to ascertain how abuse in the church compared with abuse in other sectors of society. He added that the commission had referred 30 clergy suspects to prosecutors over the past two years, in line with civil law obligations.
Several Indian church priests have been arrested for sexual abuse. Many of them found guilty. Many women working in the church-run institute and children of church followers were sexually abused by Christian priests. Most cases have been reported in Kerala where the Christian population is 18.38% of the State. It is observed that churches tried to cover their priests and pressured the victims not to lodge a complaint in the police.
As a result, on August 11, 2020, the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) had demanded the resignation
of Giambattista Diquattro – Papal Nuncio to India (Vatican representative to India) from the Apostolic Nuncio for failure to act against the corruption and sexual abuse cases reported by concerned Christians against Bishops in India.