Vatican Metropolis, Holy See:
French Prime Minister Jean Castex met Pope Francis on the Vatican on Monday because the French Catholic Church battles a storm over clerical youngster intercourse abuse and the sanctity of confession.
The long-planned journey to Rome, which incorporates talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, follows the publication of a devastating report estimating that French Catholic clergy had abused 216,000 youngsters since 1950.
Francis, who has made battling the worldwide scourge of clerical abuse a precedence of his papacy, expressed “my disgrace, our disgrace” on the findings, echoing an analogous sentiment from French church leaders.
However a row broke out when Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, the top of the Bishops’ Convention of France, stated clergymen weren’t obliged to report sexual abuse in the event that they heard about it in the course of the Catholic ritual of confession, used to confess to sins.
Moulins-Beaufort’s phrases had been consistent with Vatican tips up to date final 12 months, which name on clerics to report claims of abuse.
However they are saying confession is topic to “the strictest bond of the sacramental seal”, whereas including the confessor ought to attempt to persuade the penitent to inform another person.
But in France, victims’ advocates identified that French legislation recognises skilled confidentiality for clergymen, however it doesn’t apply in doubtlessly felony circumstances involving violence or sexual assault in opposition to minors.
After his assembly on the Vatican, Castex advised reporters that the pope had stated the French church had been “brave” in coping with the difficulty.
“He trusts the Church in France to attract conclusions. He’s happy there was no denial,” the premier stated.
“The Church is not going to return on the dogma of the key of the confession. However we should in any respect prices finds methods and means to reconcile this with felony legislation, the rights of victims,” Castex added.
“He’s absolutely conscious of this. It is a long-term job.”
Moulins-Beaufort was known as to a gathering with Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin, and later insisted that defending youngsters was “an absolute precedence”.
Darmanin accompanied Castex and French Overseas Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to the Vatican, within the go to marking 100 years for the reason that reestablishment of diplomatic relations between France and the Holy See.
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