Royal Commission Judge expresses sadness at scale of French church abuse

Judge Coral Shaw, Friday released a statement expressing her sadness of the sexual abuse with the Catholic Church in France

She notes, “with immense sadness, the vast scale of abuse against children by clergy in the French Catholic Church since 1950, which was revealed by an independent inquiry in France.

“It is deeply unsettling to hear, yet again, that so many young people were victims of people in positions of power over them, including spiritual power.

“We are concerned that institutions that are trusted to care for the vulnerable have caused them so much physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual harm by abusing their immense power.

“This is an issue that is very relevant in Aotearoa New Zealand too.

“Our Royal Commission is currently investigating the abuse and neglect of children and others in the care of the Catholic Church and other faith-based institutions.”

Pope Francis expressed sadness and shame on Wednesday in response to a report estimating that 216,00 of children were abused by Catholic clergy and laypeople in France over the past 70 years.

Reports estimate between 2,900 and 3,200 people committed the abuse. While the majority of abuse was carried out by Catholic Clergy, one-third of the abuse was conducted by laypeople.

22 cases of alleged crimes have been forwarded to prosecutors and more than 40 cases have been forwarded to Church officials because the alleged offences are too old to prosecute.



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