Abuse in the Church, how priests are living through the storm

La Croix International

April 16, 2019

By Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner and Marie Malzac

Even when they have not been targeted personally by any disparaging remarks, priests are conscious of the climate of ‘suspicion’ that has developed

While they will gather around their bishops for the Chrism Mass, a key moment in Holy Week, French priests share with La Croix their distress at the wave of revelations of sexual abuse, but also their need to talk and strengthen the brotherhood amongst them.

Shock, sadness, anger, disillusionment … many priests realized only in the past few months the “scope” of the crisis of abuses in the Church, which is not limited to “individual cases” as first thought, but takes on a “systemic” dimension in their eyes.

As a member of the monitoring organisation in his Diocese of Nanterre, Father Hugues de Woillemont knows the “depth of the trauma” experienced by the victims in all areas of their personal and spiritual lives. But a documentary aired in early March by Arte TV on the rape of nuns by clerics was the final blow for him.

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