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religious congregations quantify financial compensation

Six months after the publication of the report of the Independent Committee on Sexual Abuse in the Church (Ciase), the victim reception system implemented by the Conference of Religious of France (Corref) is operational. Five months after its founding, the Recognition and Recovery Committee (CRR), chaired by honorary magistrate Antoine Garapon, is drawing the first lessons from some 300 registered cases.

seven levels

In a document unveiled by Agence France-Presse, the CRR has established a scale of financial compensation based on seven levels, ranging from €5,000 to €60,000. According to this letter signed by Antoine Garaponthe method “combines an objective description of the violence” – nature of the acts, duration, frequency – and “consequence assessment” – the degree of impact of Sexual violence on the personal, affective, family, social, professional and spiritual life testified by the victim.

→ READ. Sexual Violence in the Church, a First Assessment for the New Bodies

“These amounts are not arbitrary, but directly inspired by the amounts allocated by the French courts to compensate for suffering and attacks on dignity”, further clarifies this document addressed to those in charge of institutes and congregations.

A debt of justice

The Independent National Authority for Recognition and Rehabilitation (INIRR), charged by the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF) to compensate minors who are victims of aggression in a diocesan or parish context by priests or laity should take this into account. She has not yet established her criteria: “It would be difficult for victims not to have access to the same types of recognition and reparation,” However, the president of Inirr, Marie Derain de Vaucresson, declared at the Bishops’ Meeting in Lourdes last week.

→ ANALYSIS. Sexual abuse in the church, restorative justice for victims on a case-by-case basis

According to the system established by the Corref, the CRR accompanies the victims, minors or vulnerable adults, while the financial burden is borne by the institution on which the aggressor depends. “It is a guilt of righteousness that commits, says Antoine Garapon. Paying this amount will prompt the congregation to make choices, perhaps put off work or an investment, and find that it is somewhat diminished in its power. Being able to bet money shows determination to get out of abuse, but money without words would be insufficient. †

Thus a dialogue is started between the provincials and the major superiors and the victims, who sometimes come together before a congregation: “When victims come together to request information, it promotes a more balanced dialogue,” he says. recognizes Antoine Garapon.

Working groups

Added to this involvement of the institutes in correcting abuses is the reflection of the working groups set up by Corref in November last year and coordinated by Frédéric Mounier (former journalist for The cross† To date, there are 24,805 men and women religious in France. Monks and nuns, nuns and apostolic religious, that is, devoted in the world for education, care, service, were 66,462 in 2000.

An evolution leading to a demographic and geographical realignment of these congregations and institutions, whose living forces are often located outside France. “The work of the groups is characterized by the situation: they reflect in a very concrete way what religious life is in the 21st century.and century “, notes Frédéric Mounier. A (re)questioning of the vocation of institutions, even of the oldest congregations.

Very concrete problems

This is also the focus of the group of “religious traditions” led by the Jesuit Patrick Goujon, and also that of the Dominican sister Anne Lécu entitled “Bad trees, good fruits” in certain more recent communities. The assistant nun Isabelle Le Bourgeois will lead the “Distinction and Vocation” group, while Pierre-Yves Pecqueux, Eudist priest, will lead the “Exchange of Good Practices” group. Finally, the group management is placed under the responsibility of Benedictine Achille Mestre.

These are very concrete issues that concern the groups, with questions such as: “Can one impartially assess a member of the province? † or “What does the vow of obedience mean in the XXIand century ? †† With the first encounters, Frédéric Mounier, “these are unique opportunities to talk to each other, for mutual discoveries, for sharing experiences between different spiritualities, often faced with the same difficulties”

→ VIDEO ARCHIVE. Sexual abuse in the church: Catholics in shock

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