An inquiry commissioned by the Catholic Church into clerical abuse in France has just concluded that victims of both clerics and laity (teachers, for example) totalled around a third of a million since 1950.
In no country in the world has such a high figure been included in an official report. Nearly all victims were minors or vulnerable adults.
The commission, to its credit, held exhaustive hearings in every major town in France. But listening to so many harrowing testimonies took its toll. The president of the commission was not alone in needing psychological assistance.
At the public launch of the inquiry report, abuse survivor François Devaux told Church officials:
You are a disgrace to our humanity. In this hell there have been abominable mass crimes...betrayal of morality, [and] betrayal of children.
The report concluded: "The Catholic Church is, after the circle of family and friends, the environment that has the highest prevalence of sexual violence." Its president accused the Church of "sometimes knowingly putting children in touch with predators."
Continue reading @ National Secular Society.