“French Catholic bishops accused of “covering-up sex abuses”” & related article

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France 24

Latest update : 2017-03-21

Twenty-five French bishops have been covering up scores of cases of sexual abuses by Catholic priests, French media revealed on Tuesday in a report reminiscent of the Spotlight investigation into clergy sex abuse.

Investigative reporters from the Mediapart website have identified 32 individuals, including 28 priests, who have been accused of committing sexual abuses from the 1960s up to today.

“Out of these 32 cases, 25 bishops, including five still in place, decided not to report them to judicial authorities after being alerted about these sexual abuses. In total, there are 339 suspected victims, forgotten by the French Church,” writes Mediapart.

‘The mechanics of silence’

Reporters say they have compiled hundreds of documents, press clips, letters, testimonies and judicial reports to back up their claim.

A book about the alleged cover-up, Eglise, la mécanique du silence (“Church, the mechanics of silence”) is going to be released on March 22.

Most of the abusers have subsequently been charged and some of them sentenced over these sex crimes, Mediapart say.

Their report comes four months after French bishops pleaded for forgiveness over their “guilty silence” after the Archbishop of Lyon Philippe Barbarin came under attack for covering up the abuse of Scouts and failing to remove a priest who had sexually abused boys 25 years ago.


25 French bishops accused of covering up hundreds of sex abuse cases

media Lyon’s Cardinal Philippe Barbarin AFP

Twenty-five French bishops covered up sexual abuse of by 32 Catholic priests for years, an investigative website claims. The abuse, which continued after 2000 when the church claimed to have tackled the problem, affected 339 victims, it says.

The Mediapart website names all 25 bishops, five of whom were still in office in January, and accuses Lyon’s Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of having known about abuse by five priests without notifying police.

Several cases of covering up sexual abuse against Barbarin were dismissed last June.

Among the other bishops named by Mediapart are Besançon Archbishop Jean-Luc-Bouilleret, Bayonne Bishop Marc Aillet, Yves Le Saux of Le Mans and Mgr Bernard Fellay of the Society of Saint Pius X, a traditionalist fraternity that is going through a reconciliation process with the Vatican.

Of the 339 victims, 288 were minors, the site says.

In a joint probe with the Cash Investigation TV programme, Mediapart claims that 90 priests have been moved because of accusations of paedophilia.

Following a major scandal involving Bishop Pierre Pican in 2000, the French Catholic bishops’ conference ordered its members to report cases of abuse of minors to the legal authorities.

But half of the cases reported by Mediapart are alleged to have been reported since then.

The church refused to take part in the Cash Investigation programme, which is to be broadcast on Tuesday, complaining that interviews were conducted in a spirit of accusation rather than explanation.



9 Responses to “French Catholic bishops accused of “covering-up sex abuses”” & related article

  1. Sylvia says:

    There are a lot of articles on this in French. I think we will see more detailed coverage in English within the next day or so. If you see any please pass along a link.

  2. BC says:

    The Bishop of Bayonne in South-Western France Marc Aillet confirmed Thursday at a press conference that he had indeed covered-up a 2009 admission by one of his priests who had sexually assaulted a minor as it had been reported a few days earlier in the media. Bishop Aillet didn’t deny his cover-up and justified disclosing it only in 2015 by saying that the priest was suicidal at the time of his admission. Bishop Aillet didn’t think it would have been appropriate to subject his priest to criminal prosecution, because his priest could not have handled it emotionally.

    link here: http://www.sudouest.fr/2017/03/23/pedophilie-l-eveque-de-bayonne-mgr-marc-aillet-reagit-a-l-enquete-de-cash-investigation-3302699-4018.php

    It has also been discussed in french media this week that Pope Francis did while he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires pay in 2010 for a 2600 page report in a effort to reverse the 2009 conviction of his convicted clerical pervert friend Father Julio Cesar Grassi. So Bishop Aillet knows that he’s got nothing to fear insofar the Pope’s misrepresentations about prosecuting Bishops who protect clerical perverts. Argentina’s Supreme court rendered a unanimous verdict Tuesday this week upholding Father Grassi’s sentence of 15 years.

    • BC says:

      Vincent Neymont the Director of Communications of the Conference of French Bishops reacted on KTO TV, the french church`s propaganda machine to this weeks media exposure of the fact that 25 french Bishops covered-up clerical abuse by stating that it had opted to not participate in any media interviews because: -Il y a des moments où le silence est préférable à la parole. translation: – Sometimes silence is the best policy.
      link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McaC8TjaNc0

      If being a good Christian has to be about being a good witness, the bleedership of the Church’s representation on the record that it`s silence is it`s evidence is the indictment of the whole institutional Church. Doe v. Holy See clearly established that Vatican City is civilly liable for negligent Bishops and as most civil litigation is quietly settled out of court the faithful don`t hear about just how much money their Church is willing to pay for non-disclosure clauses. If they did know the extent of their own fleecing and I’m not only speaking about kinky priests who are into body shaving; the faithful would want all their money back. They’d also want to sink the ship to create a viable habitat for endangered species of fish.

      The survey says that none of the 25 Bishops who this week were exposed in France for their covering-up their pervert pals in the clergy, 5 of which are still on the job, will ever be prosecuted by Vatican City’s fake courts because they’ve got all the dirt on their handlers in the Vatican. Pope Francis did not only pay to have his friend Father Grassi’s conviction overturned, in 2014 Pope Francis also reinstated a convicted clerical abuser the flamboyant Fr. Mauro Inzoli nicknamed “Don Mercedes” for his taste in flashy cars and who in 2012 under the papacy of Pope Benedict was defrocked.

      There are good priests. There are good nuns. There are good brothers. Most of them are decent law-abiding men and women. And on the whole the faithful are good people. The fish rots from the head. And Pope Francis is a stinking goof.

    • Lisa says:

      I don’t think this is a fair representation of Pope Francis’ response while Bishop. For another perspective:

    • Lisa says:

      I don’t think this is a fair representation of Pope Francis’ response while Bishop. We should be careful when we interpret motive. https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/hard-questions-about-francis-argentina-and-lesson-chile

      • Geenda says:

        Actually Lisa on reading this I did some of my own research and was gobsmacked by the disgusting hypocrisy.. we can of course bury our heads in the sand….I won’t .

        • Lisa says:

          There is no question there have been cover ups, perverted priests, indifferent bishops, etc, but each case must be viewed alone if we are to genuinely seek justice. As far as
          Pope Francis is concerned, I have not read any article that has persuaded me to believe he was indifferent to any abuse that took place while bishop. To seek the truth is something we should all be open to by being willing to let the truth lead us.

          • JoeB says:

            Saying each case must be viewed alone is a convenient way to let the pope wash his hands on the issue. His actions have been louder than his words. He has said a lot, and done nothing.

  3. Geenda says:

    Love how they all support each other. I wonder how much support was available to the victims… the POPE tried to overturn father Grassi’s conviction? If that’s true he doesn’t belong there. The Catholic Church is rotting from the inside.

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