French National Federation of Free Thought –

Justice for Victims of Sexual Abuse by Churches!

A rather interesting article was published by “Le Point” on May 23rd 2014. Let’s read it thoroughly: “Embarrassing, just when the Vatican is getting ready to wage war against pedophile priests. According to one victim’s father, the Paris Diocese has been protecting one of these priests in spite of being sentenced in April 2012 for “sexual abuse on an under 15 minor by a person who misused his position’s authority.” Father C. had at the time been sentenced by The Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris (equivalent of the Crown Court) to a 6 month imprisonment with reprieve along with a “5 year ban to practise a professional or volunteer activity involving regular contact with minors.”

Has all this been enough for the Church to prevent any further relation between the convict and the young flock? Pope Francis keeps repeating since he arrived at the Vatican: the code of silence is over, a strict principle of precaution must be implemented. At the request of the Holy Father, an expert commission works on the procedures to be enforced to respond to the cases. In early May it revealed that 848 priests had been defrocked for pedophile acts and that 2572 had been isolated in monasteries since 2004. What about Father C.? After having been sentenced he was appointed by the Paris Diocese first to an archive department then last fall as a deputy chaplain in a private Catholic hospital in Paris…in the district where the victim’s family lives.

The father hears about the appointment by blind chance: the Diocese has not thought right to inform him. “He is put in touch with vulnerable people again! Does it mean that he will ultimately be given a parish again? One makes fun of us!” “One” means first His Grace André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris. The father turned toward him in June 2011 when he discovered the impassioned short text messages sent to his 14-year-old son by the their parish priest. The complaint he registered at the Minor Protection Brigade was closed in September 2011 because the victim didn’t place any affidavit. The father then received an answer from the Archbishop which could be summed up with “Go in peace and move along!”

Today the Diocese resolutely denies the whole thing and doesn’t want to reveal the content of their words. “at the time we didn’t have all the elements to appraise how serious the case was but we have been watchful and have taken the priest away from his parish.” In the fall, the priest was indeed sent to a monastery in Morocco. But the previous summer he took part to the Youth Worldwide Days. From his retreat he kept sending messages to the adolescent who eventually confided to his parents. A new investigation was opened, the priest was remanded in custody. The diocese asserted that this time they had sent a file to the Congregation for the doctrine of faith which is in charge of pedophile cases at the Vatican, They supposedly approved the Archbishop’s next decisions on this case.” We went even further when we disclosed the charges pressed against the priest within the parish for potential other victims to be able to come out.”

During the hearings the priest admitted that young boys appealed to him that he was homosexually-oriented. He suggested that the latter was less serious than the former. He also admitted obsessional feelings toward the adolescent and some touches on the chest sometimes under the clothes. The boy added that Father C. tried several times to kiss him. “At first it wasn’t sexually-oriented but it had become so.” stated the priest quoted in the considerations of the April 2012 judgement. “As he kept coming back I didn’t realized he was traumatized.” The court sentenced him considering the sexual abuse was “extremely fine” and considered after the priest had been assessed that there was no need for him to be treated.”

“We have respected the recommendations of the court to the letter, states the Diocese, At the hospital where he has been appointed he is supervised y a team of chaplain and there is no pediatric service in the hospital.” “Some patients can be just over 15 but there are not many of them.” “He discovered the case in the May, 16th 2014 issue of the weekly Marianne and grinds his teeth.” “I suppose it aims at reintegrating the priest which must be a good idea. In the future we will have to be more careful with the people introduced by the Archbishop.”

So far this latter has not made up his mind concerning Father C.’s future within the Chaplaincy. “This is our local hospital, protests the father. Can you imagine me be hospitalized, ask for communion and bump into him? How could such a decision have been made even though he has tried to get in touch with my son after the judgement?” “Disgusted” He says he is ready to go and stand up for his claim in Rome.” The Church is a family. Our rôle as believers is to support our priests but also to denounce what is wrong. On the one hand theVatican appears to be very strict today on these cases, on the other hand the Church of Paris acts as if nothing had happened.” “They have acted too little and too late to say the least.”

Some comments to be made

First of all the man who has brought with supporting evidence this terrible charge against the Church of covering up a pedophile priest’s misdemeanour is no Free Thinker but a believer who can’t be charged with anticlericalism.

Thus, the entire propaganda strategy of the Holy See, which claims to be fighting against pedophilia in its ranks, has been undermined by the course of events and the position in the Catholic Church’s hierarchy (especially the Archbishop of Paris) of those under investigation. In addition, these decisions go against a decision of the courts.

This case, along with many others, proves how relevant the 2011 decision of the International Association of Free Thought was to initiate a campaign “to reveal and denounce the crimes committed by priests.” We will discuss this campaign at the IVth IAFT Congress in London on August 11th We must be numerous and help our friends from all over the world to join in.

“We want justice for the victims of Churches. Justice doesn’t mean repentance. Repentance is a religious concept which commits exclusively the Churches which thus place themselves over human laws. We want justice that is to say if the person is found guilty sanctions whether judiciary, financial and moral.

Justice for the victims of sexual abuse by Churches;
sexual abuse by Churches are actually an institution of the institution.”

The Paris Federation of Free Thought calls you to join the fight!

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