We couldn't find any pages which matched TOM HENEGHAN / in Paris FRANCE / ‘Flood’ of reports since June; victims ‘ready to tell their stories’ SOME 2,000 accusations of clerical sexual abuse have been reported to the Church’s independent commission on abuse since it invited testimonies from alleged victims in June. “About 650 have agreed to fill out a detailed questionnaire,” commission president Jean-Marc Sauvé (pictured) told the AFP news agency. “Sixteen victims or witnesses to abuse have already been heard by the commission,” he said. “About 15 reports will be passed on to judicial authorities, because the cases have not been judged but are within the statute of limitations.” Sauvé, a retired vice-president of France’s top administrative court, said the commission was “surprised by the flood (of reports) in the first few days (and) impressed by the readiness of victims to tell their stories”. He said that their testimonies spoke volumes about their suffering. “They leave no doubt about the seriousness and authenticity of what they say happened and the long-term consequences of this abuse,” he said. The 22-member commission, made up of doctors, lawyers, theologians and sociologists chosen by Sauvé, began in February to review abuse accusations dating back to 1950. Victims’ advocates and Church representatives are not in the Church-financed commission. Sauvé said the commission had also sent questionnaires to religious institutions and had begun searching Church and secular archives for further information. “We have responses (to the questionnaires) from 20 dioceses, 26 female congregations and 24 male congregations,” he said. The commission has also asked the Holy See for an indult to allow access to the Church’s most secret archives, he added..
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