Revealed: the 25 bishops who covered up sex crimes

By Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière, Mathieu Périsse (We Report) Et Donatien Huet

The French Catholic Church has for years protected priests and others under its authority who were accused of sexual assaults, and paedophile crimes in particular. This Mediapart investigation reveals how 25 bishops, five of who are still active, were directly involved in protecting 24 people, mostly priests, accused of sexual abuse. They were among 32 alleged perpetrators of sex crimes who are identified here as having been protected by the Church, and whose alleged victims total 339. The method employed often involved the transfer of the alleged perpetrators, a number of who have now been convicted for sex crimes, to distant geographical locations both in France and abroad. Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière and Mathieu Périsse report (graphics by Donatien Huet).

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Several dozen priests accused of sexual assaults were knowingly and methodically protected by 25 bishops who were aware of their alleged crimes and who never alerted the judicial authorities to the events, Mediapart can reveal in a year-long investigation into cases of sexual abuse, either alleged or since confirmed, involving members of the French Catholic Church.