The Catholic Church in France has raised almost £17 million for victims of child sexual abuse.
A portion of the money will be used for compensation claims, which are currently being studied by an independent panel.
The fundraiser was launched following the publication of a report in October 2021, where it was found that 216,000 minors had been abused within the Church over the last 70 years.
If you include school teachers and other lay members of the church, the number is believed to exceed 330,000 victims.
The abuse was described as “systemic” and “deliberate” in a press conference following the publication of the report.
It also said that the “vast majority” of the victims were boys who were attacked before reaching adolescence, with some offenders attacking more than 150 victims each.
The victims’ lawyers are reportedly demanding huge sums in compensation for their ordeals – it’s likely to cost the Church an extreme sum of money, accumulating to tens of millions of euros.
The £17 million (or 20 million euros) was raised through a number of routes. A huge number of diocese across the country have contributed to the fund. Parishioners have also been invited to donate.
However, the Church previously said they were afraid to sell off real estate or take out bank loans in order to gather the money.