The archbishop of the diocese of Dijon reacts to the report delivered by the Commission on sexual abuse in the Church by asking to “avoid generalizations and amalgamations”.
Press release from the diocese of Dijon on October 5, 2021:
To the faithful of the diocese of Dijon,
As Catholics and as citizens today we receive the investigation conducted by the Independent Commission into sexual abuse committed by clerics since 1950. The statistics are overwhelming. The Episcopal Conference has requested this inquiry, we will witness to receive a shock. It is done. Coming from priests, abuses of power, of conscience or of sexual assault are counter-testimonies which provoke disgust and discredit the ecclesial institution.
In the space of these 70 years, our perception of the phenomenon of child abuse has evolved. Now we understand how these acts have a devastating effect on the victims.
Our first reaction today is compassion and caring for the victims whose lives have been shattered. The whole Church is affected by the inadmissible conduct of some of its members.
Before the presentation of the Sauvé report, the Conference of Bishops, in accordance with the new canonical legislation, put in place specific provisions to assist victims, take preventive measures and create a culture of healthy relations between adults and minors.
Our approach has helped to raise awareness of the scale of society on the scale of the phenomenon of child crime. A process of awareness is now underway which will bear fruit.
The foreseeable media surge over the next few days will trouble many people. It should not prevent discernment. We pray that the victims will find appeasement and their attackers a path of repentance and conversion. Generalizations and amalgamations should be avoided.
Our priests need your support.
Let us carry this ordeal together. Truth sets you free.
Archbishop of Dijon