“This is a sign of a positive dynamic, which has yet to be confirmed,” Jérôme Chapuis, editor-in-chief of La Croix, a respected Catholic newspaper in France, wrote in an editorial on Sunday. “Because this fragile process is still in its infancy. “
The announcement of compensation was eagerly awaited by victims of religious abuse, who had objected to earlier suggestions by French Catholic leaders that the victims compensation fund should be funded primarily through donations from parishioners.
“This is what we were hoping for,” said Savignac, who was sexually assaulted by a priest at 13. “Because it is the institution that takes its responsibilities and pays. “
The Church will sell assets, including real estate, and could even take out a loan if necessary, Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort said. Each victim will also be compensated individually – another key demand from victim groups, which had rejected suggestions for a package deal and said each case should be assessed separately. Some victims say they have to recoup years of medical bills and other expenses related to the trauma caused by the abuse.
Parishioners can still donate money directly to the compensation fund, but general donations from parishioners, which make up a large portion of funding for the Catholic Church in France, will not be used, the bishops said on Monday.
The Archbishop of Moulins-Beaufort did not provide details on how much the church expected the compensation fund to increase, but said it would be endowed gradually as the victims would come forward. He also did not provide an inventory of what the church expected to sell. Some French dioceses, like that of Paris, have significant real estate assets, but others are in financial difficulty.
“Obviously, we have to raise sums much higher than we imagined, given the scale of the abuses,” he said.