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Probe: More Than 200,000 Children, Mostly Boys, Sexually Abused by French Clergy

The head of the probe said that the Church needed to reform the way it taught sexuality, obedience, and priesthood.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Pope Francis expressed "great sorrow" for the victims. Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>
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A major investigation, whose conclusions were announced on Tuesday, 5 October, revealed that the French clergy sexually abused more than 200,000 children in the last seven decades since 1950, Reuters reported.

Most of the victims were boys, aged between 10 and 13, and the abuses peaked between 1950 and 1970.

Jean-Marc Sauve, who led the commission that drafted the report, said that the Church had displayed "deep, total and even cruel indifference for years", the report added.

He also said that the Church had been more concerned about protecting its own image than the victims of what he perceived to be systemic abuse.

Through a statement by the Vatican, Pope Francis said that "his thoughts go to the victims, with great sorrow, for their wounds".

Even though a few months ago the pope had said that the allegations of abuse levelled against the Catholic Church were a global catastrophe, critics say that Francis has failed to empathise with the victims.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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