French Catholic Church inquiry finds 216,000 sex abuse victims from 1950
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An independent inquiry into alleged sex abuse of minors by French Catholic priests, deacons and other clergy has found some 216,000 victims of paedophilia from 1950 to 2020, a "massive phenomenon" that was covered up for decades by a "veil of silence."
The landmark report, released Tuesday after two and a half years of investigations, follows widespread outrage over a string of paedophilia claims and prosecutions against Church officials worldwide.
"Until the early 2000s the Catholic Church showed a profound and even cruel indifference towards the victims," the president of the investigative committee, Jean-Marc Sauve, said at a press conference.
He denounced the "systemic character" of efforts to shield clergy from paedophilia claims.
The report, at nearly 2,500 pages, found that the "vast majority" of victims were pre-adolescent boys from a wide variety of social backgrounds.