The French Episcopal Conference has announced this Monday that it will dispose of part of its assets and that, if necessary, it will request a loan to compensate the victims of pedophilia in its midst.
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The French bishops did not specify the total amount they consider necessary, but have assured that this figure will be financed with their own funds and not with donations from the faithful, who are already dedicated to other missions.
That fund, to which the bishops had begun to transfer part of their contributions, had been decided at their plenary assembly in March and had been operational since the beginning of October, but the magnitude of the problem made them admit today that they must turn to other sources.
The president of the Episcopal Conference, Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, has indicated in a press conference that the dioceses will make an inventory to know what goods are available and has added that they will also use their “reserves”.
That commitment was agreed at the closing of its plenary assembly, which began on Tuesday in Lourdes and which focused the bulk of its agenda on victims of pedophilia, after an independent commission in October cited more than 216,000 cases since 1950. Yes We add the abuses in Catholic schools or institutions, the figure rises to 330,000 victims.
The bishops have also decided to create nine working groups, dedicated among others to analyzing the causes of sexual violence within the Church, and have asked the pope to send a team to help them address the protection of the minors.
The Conference has also closed with the decision to carry out an external audit of the listening cells of the victims, the creation of a national canonical court that will come into operation in April 2022 and the signing of an action protocol with the local prosecutor’s offices. .
“Much damage has been committed and it must be assumed to free those who have already suffered it and our Church,” added De Moulins-Beaufort, who pointed out that there will be an extraordinary assembly in June to analyze the progress made until then.