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The Catholic church in a difficult situation due to cases of sexual violence and abuse

In many countries, the Roman Catholic Church has been facing for several decades a difficult situation, with revelations of rape, abuse, sexual violence and paedophilia committed in the Church. Many revelations have recently given even more prominence to these issues, and the Roman Catholic Church dedicated a summit to these issues in the Vatican on 24 February 2019.
In France, the subject has been present in social debates for several years now. In 2017, the French Bishops’ Conference produced a report on the fight against paedophilia in the Church, which was updated in 2018.
In the recent weeks, the debate has taken on a new dimension, with several new revelations: an educational institution run by a traditionalist Catholic community (the children’s village of Riaumont, in Liévin, Pas-de-Calais), is suspected of child abuse (see the article in Libération). Frédéric Martel’s book Sodoma, on homosexuality in the Catholic clergy, and more recently, a documentary entitled Religieuses abusées, l’autre scandale de l’Eglise (Abused nuns, the other scandal of the Church, by Eric Quitin and Marie-Pierre Raimbaud), have added new questions. Finally, most recently, Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, was sentenced to six months’ suspended imprisonment for failing to denounce a priest’s attacks on children (Le Monde). The cardinal announced that he would be submitting his resignation to the Pope (Le Figaro).
A commission was set up last November by the French Bishops’ Conference to investigate sexual abuse of minors in the French Catholic Church since the 1950s. The Commission has 22 members, 10 women and 12 men, and includes believers of different faiths and non-believers, atheists or agnostics, but neither a priest nor a cleric, nor any personality involved (France Inter, Le Figaro, La Vie).

11 March 2019