“It is quite possible that the victims reach at least the number of 10,000. The work in progress, and in particular the survey among the general population, will make it possible to specify the number”, he declared.
The commission was created in 2018 by the hierarchy of the French Catholic Church and religious institutes after abuse scandals came to light.
It is funded by the Conference of French Catholic Bishops, but members are not paid and do not receive instructions from the Church. The archives of dioceses and religious institutions are accessible to the commission.
Based on this data, Sauve had initially estimated that figures of victims could be around 3,000. “The call for testimonies certainly does not take into account the totality and it is possible that this figure reaches at least 10,000,” Le Figaro daily quoted him as saying.
He added that the main task of the commission was to analyze the question: “What percentage of victims did the (clergy) touch? Is it 25%? 10%, 5% or less?”
A final report is expected to be submitted in the fall of 2021.
In May 2019, Pope Francis released global rules for reporting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, requiring for the first time that all dioceses put in place systems for reporting abuse and cover-ups.
The rules require that all Catholic dioceses around the world have a “public and accessible” system in place.
The standards cover the internal procedure of the Catholic Church, not the issue of reporting abuse or concealment to civil authorities, and must be followed by all dioceses.
Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s leading sexual abuse investigator, told CNN at the time that the new rules added a layer of accountability for church leaders.
“First, leadership is not above the law,” said Scicluna, “and second, leadership needs to know, all of us as leaders, we need to know that if people love the Church, they will. denounce us when we do something wrong. ”