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'3000 paedophiles' held positions in French Catholic Church since 1950s — leaked report

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By Euronews with AFP
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A mass in the Cathedral of Lucon, western France, on March 14, 2021, organised after a ceremony in tribute to child victims of sexual abuse by priests.
A mass in the Cathedral of Lucon, western France, on March 14, 2021, organised after a ceremony in tribute to child victims of sexual abuse by priests.   -   Copyright  LOIC VENANCE / AFP
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An investigation into the French catholic church has uncovered shocking revelations about child sexual abuse.

An independent commission leading the investigation says between 2,900 and 3,200 paedophiles have held positions within the church since the 1950s.

A report by the commission that looked at church, court, and police archives as well as interviews with witnesses is set to be released on Tuesday, but details were leaked beforehand.

"It's painful because of what the victims suffered. As far as the abusers are concerned, I'm ashamed, I'm scandalised, I can't understand," said Archbishop d'Ornellas of Rennes, Dol and Saint-Malo.

The commission was set up in 2018 by the Bishops' Conference of France in response to a growing number of historic sexual abuse claims.

After launching a confidential hotline at the begging of the investigation, it began receiving thousands of messages from the public.

Two and a half years later, the report runs to 2,500 pages, according to Jean-Marc Sauvé who headed the commission.

Representatives from victims' groups are expected to be present when the report is officially published.

In June, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis was a worldwide "catastrophe".