The Vatican can no longer do anything about it: the scandal can no longer be suppressed, the witnesses are talking, the wall of silence is definitely broken. The Catholic Church is responsible for thousands of crimes, rapes, harassment, physical and mental torture of thousands of children, not only by not denouncing those who commit them, but by protecting them and most often leaving them in a position to commit them again. That is why Libre Pensée requires that all archives concerning these cases be made public and that human justice be respected.

To protect itself, but this is illusory, the Catholic Church set up the Sauvé Commission on the model of the Remond Commission on the Paul Touvier affair. The Catholic Church is judge and party. Therefore, nothing can be expected from such an investigation.

In the Senate, a fact-finding mission on paedophilia in the Catholic Church was set up, chaired by Catherine Deroche. The National Federation of Free Thought approached her to request a hearing. La Libre Pensée would be accompanied by Mr. Keith Porteous Wood, rapporteur for this issue at the UN and spokesperson for the International Association of Free Thought.

This request is dated November 28, 2018 (in AR), we have not received any response to this request. How can this not be linked to the Senate’s decision to maintain the secrecy of the ear confession in the Catholic Church, which is only an agreement between private persons for the Free Thought?

Also, the National Congress of the Libre Pensée d’Alizay (Eure) requires that the Libre Pensée be received in the Senate to present its point of view on these issues.

Adopted unanimously by the  FNLP’s National Convention

The International Association of Free Thought
at the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Introducing the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Human Rights Council, Ms Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner, made it clear that the agenda included special reports on enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions (which are on the increase). She recalled that her father was tortured and died under Pinochet, that her mother was herself tortured. Ms. Bachelet’s responses took place on September 11, which is also the sad anniversary of the bloody coup d’état of the Chilean dictator backed by the Catholic army and hierarchy.

The special report on victims’ rights to “truth, justice and reparation” and to “guarantees of non-recurrence”, i.e. of non-renewal of abuses, was a little more optimistic, but showed persistent difficulties. It was of course about sexual crimes and misdemeanours, the sometimes equivocal role of States and the physical and moral suffering of victims.

The International Association of Free Thought is experiencing some of these difficulties, since it has set up an international delegation to meet the ad hoc committee set up by the Senate in France, which has been refused.

The delegation was to be led by Keith Porteous Wood, spokesperson for the IYLP, who has already contributed on several occasions to informing the Human Rights Council about sexual crimes and offences committed by members of the clergy, about the measures to stop them, to establish the truth and to prevent their recurrence.

Mrs Catherine Deroche, Senator from Maine-et-Loire, who chaired the committee, did not even respond to the proposal of our international officials. Other parliamentary or political bodies which, often, do not share the options of the Libre Pensée, have nevertheless recognised on several occasions the seriousness of its analyses and proposals.

It is the international context of this situation that was the focus of the following statement by the IYLP.

During its preparation, one of the last advances undergone by secularism in France was not yet known: the agreement between Archbishop Aupetit and the Prosecutor of Paris establishing a direct relationship between the Prosecutor and the Archbishopric. This is an official recognition of the role of a cult in criminal procedure and in a way devours civil justice as a secular arm, as in the good old medieval times! Moreover, the flexibility given to the Archbishop and his subordinates is derogatory from the measures laid down in the Criminal Code1.

Hence the international importance of the last lines of the text2, especially, but not only, in concordant countries

Michel Godicheau

1 Article 434-4 of the Criminal Code applies in this case. The press release published in La Croix prefers to refer to article 434-1 in order to try to include in the agreement the very hypothetical “professional secrecy of bishops”.

2 The text tabled could not be delivered orally, as could those of 40 other “civil society” organizations, due to the time management by United Nations services.

SR on truth, justice, reparation
Speech by Michel Godicheau

United Nations Human Rights Council – 42nd Session – Item 3 – 11 September 2019

Madam, Mr. President,

Victims of sexual abuse by ministers of religion deserve truth, justice and reparation. The IYLP has made this one of its priorities. Progress has been made, as evidenced by the conviction in Australia of a high-ranking Catholic Church official, the endless lists published in the USA or the documentary film “Tell No One” in Poland. Children and women, religious sisters or underage girls in institutions are the main victims of these abuses committed against people in a weak or dependent situation.

In Poland the Catholic episcopate is beginning to admit the extent of the crimes, but also wants to protect its priests and does not talk about reparation. This is not justice!

In France, a senatorial committee has been set up which has: “However, the President refused to receive an international delegation constituted to enlighten her and led by Mr. Porteous Wood, who has already reported many cases in this forum.

The truth is necessary for the reconstruction of the victims. Our international association proposes that civil law be the only one recognized and that the responsible religions, and in particular the Holy See, open their archives to investigators appointed by the criminal authorities of the member countries.