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.
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.
by Mathieu Dejean, Mathilde Goanec, Pauline Graulle and Ilyes Ramdani
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.
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.
Olivier Duhamel, 71, a prominent and influential figure among the Parisian intellectual glitterati leftist elite who was forced to admit sexually abusing his stepson after the latter's sister revealed the assaults in a book, will not be prosecuted because of the French statute of limitations.
A series of studies in France suggest that lesbians and bisexual women are far more exposed to sexual violence than heterosexual women, as a result of sexist and lesphobic behaviour in both their domestic and societal environments. Rozenn Le Carboulec analyses the available data.
Olivier Duhamel , the once senior French political scientist and influential president of a Paris club for the social and political elite, has admitted under police questioning that he sexually abused his stepson when the latter was a minor, confirming accusations made earlier this year by his stepdaughter and which led to his professional downfall.
None of twenty-one firefighters accused of raping a girl when she was aged between 13 and 15 can be charged with rape, France's highest court has ruled, but some could face lesser charges of sexual assault.
An outpouring of accounts of incest posted in French on Twitter under the hashtag #Metooinceste was reported this weekend, following the publication of a book in France revealing how high-profile political sciences academic, constitutionalist and media figure Olivier Duhamel sexually abused his stepson, and how the family and friends covered up the scandal.
The trial of retired surgeon Joël Le Scouarnec, 69, on charges of sexually abusing four children has opened in south-west France, while he faces further prosecution after evidence was found by police, including his personal notebooks, suggesting he may have assaulted up to 349 children.
French ice sports federation chief Didier Gailhaguet on Saturday resigned his post amid accusations of complacency over sexual abuse of athletes after four women ice skaters, including former champion figure skater Sarah Abitbol, alleged they had been sexually assaulted and raped by their coaches when they were minors.
As the world of sport in France was engulfed in scandal over accusations of the covering up of widespread sexual abuse of young athletes, and notably the rape allegations by a former ice skating champion and three of her fellow skaters against their former coaches, French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu on Thursday appealed to 'to all victims, past and present, to speak up so that we can find the offenders and prosecute them'.