French bishops mull payments for church sex abuse victims

French bishops mull payments for church sex abuse victims

French bishops mull payments for church sex abuse victims

French bishops leave the Basilica of the Rosary in Lourdes after a 2016 Mass during the French bishops' conference. Pope Francis encouraged bishops in France to be determined in their fight against child abuse and implement "zero tolerance" against known abusers. (Credit: Regis Duvignau/ Reuters via CNS.)

French bishops are considering a plan to provide financial compensation to victims of church sex abuse.

PARIS — French bishops are considering a plan to provide financial compensation to victims of church sex abuse.

The 120 bishops convening for their biannual assembly in Lourdes will spend Thursday and Friday discussing the plan for a “financial gesture” toward victims. They pledged in principle to create such a fund last year.

Conference of French Bishops spokesman Thierry Magnin told France Info radio the church could begin disbursing money to victims in 2020.

He called the proposed fund “an allowance in recognition of suffering” in an interview with Europe 1 ahead of the gathering.

The monetary compensation marks one of several initiatives the bishops pledged to undertake as France continues to grapple with clergy sex abuse. Bishops will also vote on memorialization and prevention efforts and on “support for guilty clerics.”


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