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The number of child victims of child crime in the Church of France is believed to be much higher than the first estimates made in June 2020 by the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church. It could reach 10,000 victims since 1950, estimated the president of the body on Tuesday.

The number of victims of child crime in the Church of France could reach “at least 10,000” since the 1950s, according to a still provisional estimate, announced Tuesday, March 2 by the president of the Independent Commission, whose work must be completed September.

The Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (Ciase) had initially estimated the number of victims at “at least 3000”, in June 2020, an estimate resulting from the exploitation of a call for testimonies set up in June 2019 via a wiretapping platform. This first call for testimonies was subsequently extended until October 31, 2020.

But this “call for testimonies certainly does not take into account the totality and it is possible that this figure reaches at least 10 000”, declared to AFP Jean-Marc Sauvé, the president of this commission, after having made a point stage of its work in front of the press. In June, he also estimated the number of attackers at 1,500, but this time he did not give an estimate.

“There has been in a certain number of Catholic institutions or religious communities a real system of abuse, but in small number. (…) This situation represents a very small minority of the cases of which we have been aware”, he also declared.

La Ciase, set up in 2018 by the episcopate and religious institutes after several scandals, has other work in progress (research on various archives, interviews, study on a sample of the general population). It plans to submit its results and its recommendations at the end of September.

With AFP

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