PEDOCRIMINALITY – Three personalities, including the co-founder of the association of victims “La parole libérée” François Devaux, launched an appeal this Monday, October 11 for the “collective resignation” of the bishops, after the conclusions of the Sauvé Commission on child crime in the ‘Catholic Church.
This appeal entitled “Faced with bankruptcy, the resignation of the bishops is the only honorable outcome”, is also launched by the theologian Anne Soupa and the editorial director of Christian witness Christine Pedotti.
It comes six days after the publication of the work of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (Ciase), which estimated at 216,000 the number of people victims of a priest or a religious in France since the 1950s. , or even 330,000 if we add lay aggressors in connection with the institutions of the Church.
“Much more than failures, the report of Ciase highlights a real bankruptcy”, estimate Christine Pedotti, Anne Soupa and François Devaux. According to them, “any organization, association, company would draw the necessary consequences: to get rid of its leaders”.
“We ask, as a sign of hope and renewal, the collective resignation of all the bishops in office”, they launch.
“The only attitude” possible
According to them, the resignation “is the only gesture commensurate with the catastrophe and the loss of confidence in which we are. It is a first concrete, costly act of repentance towards the victims. It is the only attitude which can allow the restoration of the Church house ”.
“In addition, it is the only way to make possible the compensation of victims because the bankruptcy of the institution is also material. The faithful do not want to contribute for faults they did not commit. But in a restored Church in which everyone will be represented, this new solidarity and fraternity will make it possible to find the necessary financial resources ”, they detail.
All three argue that “in the Catholic Church, precedents exist: the bishops of Chile have handed in their collective resignation to Pope Francis after a gigantic case of child criminality has been exposed. In Germany, Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich, also presented his resignation to the Pope in the name of the responsibility he considered to bear with regard to sexual abuse, although he himself did not fail ”.
And to continue: “undoubtedly, all the French bishops did not cover up crimes, but the very structure of the Catholic hierarchy supposes a continuity and a solidarity between each bishop and his predecessor. As such, if all are not guilty, all are responsible ”.
A female papal legate
Finally, they suggest to Pope Francis, to appoint as “legate” (official representative of the Pope) Véronique Margron, president of Corref (religious institutes and congregations), while waiting to work for “the Church after”.
In 2020, theologian Anne Soupa applied to the Archdiocese of Lyon to succeed Bishop Philippe Barbarin, in order to question the place of women in the governance of the Church.
The association “La parole libérée”, at the origin of the Preynat and Barbarin cases, is now dissolved. France has a little less than 120 bishops.
See also on Then24: Secret of Confession: The Government’s Very Firm Response to the President of the Bishops of France