France: Catholic Church wants to sell church real estate to compensate victims of abuse



The Catholic Church in France would like to sell church real estate to compensate victims of abuse, mobilize its own reserves and, if necessary, take on debts.

Lourdes – The Catholic Church in France wants to sell church real estate to compensate victims of abuse, mobilize its own reserves and, if necessary, take on debts. The contributions of the faithful to the church should not be used for the planned compensation fund, said the chairman of the French bishops’ conference, Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, on Monday in Lourdes.

There was still no information on the amount of compensation payments. To prosecute acts of abuse, the French dioceses wanted to make agreements with the public prosecutor’s offices, said the archbishop at the end of a meeting of the bishops’ conference.

According to a study presented at the beginning of October, 330,000 children and young people have been victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in France and its facilities since the 1950s. As early as Friday, the Bishops’ Conference granted institutional responsibility for deeds that had a systemic dimension.

Working groups with the involvement of lay representatives and victims are now to investigate the causes of sexual violence in the church. In addition, suggestions should be made to accompany the clergy in order to prevent such acts in the future, said the archbishop. The Pope was asked to send experts, so-called visitators, to evaluate the reappraisal. Only a few thousand victims of the acts, often decades ago, have reported so far. (dpa)


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