Nuns used crucifixes to ra:pe girls during decades of abuse in Catholic church, new report reveals
Nuns used crucifixes to rape girls during decades of abuse by French clergy members that saw attacks on 330,000 children covered up “by a veil of silence”.
Victims of abuse within France’s Catholic Church welcomed a new report which estimated that hundreds of thousands of kids were sexually abused over the past 70 years.
The 2,500-page landmark report was released Tuesday, October 5, after more than two years of investigations by an independent commission.
A victim named “Marie” testified that she was abused as an 11-year-old and that when she complained about the abuse to her parents they refused to believe a nun could do such a thing. The abuse continued for another year.
Marie said: “I was truly [a gift] for this nun… because she knew full well that she did not risk anything.”
Eighty per cent of victims were young boys between the ages of 10 and 13, however many girls also suffered abuse, not only by priests but also by nuns.
Nuns used crucifixes to rape little girls or forced boys to have sex with them, according to the report.
The investigation found that an estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse within France’s Catholic Church between 1950 to 2020, with an estimated 216,000 people abused by priests and other clerics.
Olivier Savignac, who was sexually abused by a priest in 1993, at the age of 13, has contributed to the report as a victims’ representative.
Savignac said: “I perceived this priest as someone who was good, a caring person who would not harm me. But it was when I found myself on that bed half-naked and he was touching me that I realized something was wrong.”
He says the abuse, which carried on for years, damaged him for life: “It’s like a growing cyst, it’s like gangrene inside the victim’s body and the victim’s psyche.”
The report says an estimated 3,000 “criminal paedophiles” – two-thirds of them priests – have preyed on hundreds of thousands of mainly young boys who were at Catholic schools and other institutions.
Some 86 per cent of victims were male children – many of whom did not report the abuse they suffered for decades.
Sauvé said the overall figure of victims includes an estimated 216,000 people abused by priests and other clerics.
Francois Devaux, a victim abused by a now defrocked priest, said the number of victims the report identifies is just “a minimum” of the total people actually abused.
“Some victims did not dare to speak out or trust the commission,” he said, expressing concerns that the church in France still “hasn´t understood” and has sought to minimize its responsibilities.
In May 2019, Pope Francis issued a groundbreaking new church law requiring all Catholic priests and nuns around the world to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities.