MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The French Catholic Church on Friday adopted a resolution on a number of measures to fight church child abuse and take care of victims, including providing financial assistance to them in the wake of the results of an investigation into a series of pedophilia cases involving clergymen.
“We have decided on three packages of measures during our Plenary Assembly in March 2021. They form part of a general process intended to take a decisive step in the recognition of this violence and the fight against this abuse”, the Bishop’s Conference said in a letter cited by the Catholic Church.
AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino
The first package includes measures regarding the Church’s relation with the victims, including providing any kind of help to them — increase awareness on ways to support them, provide financial assistance, improve the education of priests and all pastoral leaders, especially those who will work with young people, among others.
The second set of measures aims at strengthening canonical justice procedures, which does not exclude resorting to public trial. In particular, a criminal court at the national level will be created to ensure the necessary means to operate efficiently.
“The [third package] of measures concerns the organization of the Bishops’ Conference … We will set up a service to ‘step up vigilance and form the right pastoral relationship’,” the letter added.
The Bishops’ Conference also expressed the Church’s desire to assume its responsibility before society by asking pardon for these crimes and for these failures.
Earlier in March, the French Independent Commission on sexual abuse in the church set up by the Bishops’ Conference of France in 2018 established following the inquiry that there might have been up to 10,000 victims since 1950 instead of previously estimated 3,000.