French Catholic Church offers own assets to compensate sex abuse victims

France’s Catholic Church agreed on Monday to financially compensate tens of thousands of sex abuse victims by selling its own assets or taking on loans.

The move comes one month after a landmark inquiry found an estimated 216,000 children were sexually abused by members of the clergy between 1950 and 2020.

In a statement given on Monday, President of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF) Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort conceded the Catholic Church bore “Institutional responsibility for the decades of abuse,” and decided to go “on a path of recognition and reparation.”

Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort incited controversy in France in early October after commenting the secrecy of confession was “above the laws of the Republic.”

Shortly after, he was summoned, at the request of President Emmanuel Macron, for a meeting with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin to discuss the report’s findings. Darmanin later said: “In the secular Republic, no law is superior to the laws of the Republic … we absolutely must protect our children.”



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