French Catholic Church

French bishops' conference reveals 11 are accused of sexual abuse

France — Link

The French Catholic Church has named 11 serving or former bishops accused of sexual abuse, including Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, 78, now retired after serving 18 years as bishop of Bordeaux, who has admitted his 'reprehensible' behaviour in relations with a 14-year-old girl when he was a parish priest 35 years ago.

France's timid political response to damning report on child sex abuse in Catholic Church

France — Analysis

On Tuesday October 5th a report revealed the shocking scale of child sex abuse inside the French Catholic Church over many decades. The report's authors estimate that 330,000 minors have been the victims of sexual abuse within the church since 1950, a majority of them at the hands of ordained clergy. Since the report's publication the overall reaction from the political classes, both Left and Right, has seemed timid. Some politicians, however, are calling for the courts to intervene and for the church to undergo deep reform. Mathieu Dejean, Mathilde Goanec, Pauline Graulle and Ilyes Ramdani report.

France rebukes bishop who said abuse revealed at confession is 'secret'

France — Link

Following  publication of a report about sexual abuse of children by the clergy, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort said in a radio interview that the secrecy of the confession rite takes precedence over the laws of the republic.

Estimated 330,000 victims of child sex abuse in French Catholic Church

France — Link

Report said an estimated 3,000 child abusers - two-thirds of them priests - worked in the church from 1950 to 2020.

Head of French church child abuse probe warns of up to 10,000 victims

France — Link

Jean-Marc Sauve, head of a commission set up by the Catholic Church, said that a previous estimate in June last year of 3,000 victims "is certainly an underestimate."

French bishops agree on compensation for victims of sexual abuse

France — Link

The French Catholic Church's bishops' conference has agreed to soon begin paying financial compensation to victims of sex crimes by its clergy and who are unable to bring legal action against the perpetrators because of France's statute of limitations for the prosecution of such crimes.

Revealed: the 25 bishops who covered up sex crimes

France — Investigation

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).

How French Catholic Church discreetly relocates sex abuse priests to avoid scandal

France — Investigation

The Catholic Church in France has developed a system of quietly moving priests suspected of sex abuse to other areas or jobs, Mediapart can reveal. The method, aimed at avoiding or damping down local scandals without telling the judicial authorities, includes sending the priests concerned on sabbatical leave, to remote rural parishes, to jobs as archivists or as chaplains for the elderly, or in some cases despatching them to far-flung parishes in Africa and Asia. Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martiniere and Mathieu Périsse report.

French Cardinal fires controversy with 'incest' warning over same-sex marriages

France — Link

France's senior Roman Catholic cleric is accused of "flipping his lid" after warning same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and incest.

French Catholic Church begins open battle with Hollande over same-sex marriage law

France — Report

The French Catholic Church this week organized the reading of a prayer in churches across the country against President François Hollande’s plans to legalize same-sex marriages and to grant child adoption rights to gay couples. The ‘Prayer for France’ was read by priests and parishioners during the traditional yearly Assumption Day Mass on August 15th, directed at politicians "so that their sense of the common good will overcome special demands". While the move outraged gay rights groups and set the Church on a collision course with government, it also divided some congregations - nowhere more so than those in the Marais ‘gay quarter’ of Paris, where Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hajdenberg spoke to parishioners and priests.