Nuns used crucifixes to rape girls during decades of abuse carried out by clergy in France’s Catholic Church that saw attacks on 330,000 children covered up ‘by a veil of silence’, a damning report has found.
The 2,500-page landmark report was released Tuesday after more than two years of investigations by an independent commission, in France’s first major reckoning with the devastating phenomenon.
A victim named ‘Marie’ testified that she was abused as an 11-year-old and that when she complained about the abuse to her parents they refused to believe a nun could do such a thing. The abuse continued for another year.
‘I was truly [a gift] for this nun… because she knew full well that she did not risk anything,’ Marie said.
Eighty per cent of victims were young boys between the ages of 10 and 13, however many girls also suffered abuse, not only by priests but also by nuns.
Nuns used crucifixes to rape little girls or forced boys to have sex with them, according to the report.
Pope Francis today expressed to the victims his ‘great sorrow, for their wounds’, adding that he was grateful for the courage they had shown in denouncing what they had been through.