Catholic Church sex abuse scandal: the French government's double standards over 'separatism'


For months the French government has continually raised concerns about what it sees as the dangers of “Islamic separatism” in the country and has brought in legislation to tackle it. Yet when in the wake of a major report on child sex abuse in the French Catholic Church a senior bishop suggested that the secrets of the confessional were stronger than the “Republic's laws” there was at first a deafening silence from government ministers. This reluctance to comment came on top of the government's clear embarrassment at the publication of the sex abuse report itself, a document which produced shocking figures on the extent of the scandal in the church. Ellen Salvi reports.

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A senior Catholic bishop in France caused outrage last week when he suggested that the secrets of the confessional carried more weight than the laws of the French Republic. Monseigneur Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the Bishops' Conference of France the Conférence des Évêques de France (CEF), spoke after a shocking report into the level of sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church was published on Tuesday October 5th.