Church in France Outlines Strategy to Fight Pedophilia

Bishops’ Document Offers Guidelines to Educators

PARIS, AUG. 28, 2002 ( Referring to recent reports of sex-abuse scandals in France, Bishop Jacques David of Evreux says the Church “intends to combat pedophilia assiduously.”

A national survey carried out by the bishops’ conference shows that 118 priests were under investigation for pedophilia. Thirty were convicted and 11 were incarcerated.

The French bishops have responded with a dossier entitled “Combating Pedophilia: Points of Reference for Educators.”

Written under the direction of Bishop David, it gathers the reflections of theologians, specialists in pastoral and youth morality, formators in seminaries, jurists, psychoanalysts, sexologists and journalists, to “contribute to the revelation and prevention of similar acts, while preserving the climate of trust indispensable for all life in society.”

Bishop David told ZENIT the Church intends “to collaborate with the work already begun by various administrations — Justice, Education, Family — and numerous associations.”