IndiaTwo lakh children molested by priests; French PM meets Pope Francis

Two lakh children molested by priests; French PM meets Pope Francis


Highlight:

  • French delegation visits Vatican
  • The group is chaired by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference
  • He will also meet the Italian Prime Minister

Vatican: French Prime Minister Zong Caste has met with the pope following reports that more than two million children have been sexually abused by Catholic priests in France over the past 70 years. The French Prime Minister also met with the Pope at the Vatican and held talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The report that 216,000 children have been sexually abused by Catholic priests in France since 1950 has caused a great deal of controversy. Criticism of the French Catholic Church over the issue has risen globally. The pope said the incident was a disgrace to the Catholic Church as a whole. The pope’s response to the incident was, “I am ashamed, we are all ashamed.”

The incident was condemned by the Catholic Church leadership in France. However, Archbishop Eric de Moulin Beaufor’s, president of the Bishops’ Conference in France, said that priests could not report sexual harassment if people reported it during a confession. The archbishop’s statement was similar to the Vatican’s position on the incident last year. It is noteworthy that after this, the French Prime Minister met with the Pope.

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The Catholic Church believes that confession is part of a strong sacramental covenant and that priests cannot reveal the secret of confession to another. But the church’s revised guidelines last year make it clear that the priest can be forced to divulge information about the confessor to another person.

At the same time, the victims’ lawyers say the church’s position on sexual assault is against French law. French law allows priests to keep their confessional secret as part of their job. But they point out that this does not apply to issues including child sexual abuse.

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At the same time, the archbishop, who held talks with the French interior minister after the controversy, responded that the protection of children was the most important issue. The Archbishop is part of the French Prime Minister’s delegation to the Vatican. The group also includes French Foreign Minister Zong Ye Le Drian. The French leadership arrives at the Vatican on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and the Vatican.

A recent report named more than 3,000 priests who abused children. The report said that after the torture, the church tried to silence and ignore the victims and try to cover up the incident. The report was released on October 5.

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