In the past 70 years, Catholic priests, religious and church employees as well as other people in Catholic schools or e.g. holiday camps are said to have abused up to330,000 children in France.

This figure was recently presented in a report commissioned by French bishops to a commission of investigation in 2018. In it, up to 3200 potential perpetrators were investigated. Assuming the estimated numbers, both on the victim and perpetrator side, each perpetrator would come to nearly 104 children, mostly boys, whom they abused. The Catholic Church, which has repeatedly been confronted in many countries with people publicly disclosing that they were abused as children or adolescents by officials, was shocked by the extent of the abuse - at the beginning of the investigation, it was assumed that there were about 10,000 victims. But although there were signs, although victims revealed themselves in their personal circles or even to the church, no one believed them. Even more, the church tried to cover up this system of abuse. It may not be a coincidence that the cases of abuse, which could rather be called an "open secret" than a "scandal", are now coming to light and that the Catholic Church is pretending to fight against them with all its strength. For the Catholic Church, just like other religious institutions, makes a soothing contribution in a society in which social differences are becoming ever more apparent, in which the material reality for many people is deteriorating ever further, ever more drastically. Preaching "something higher" that has a "plan" for everyone can calm many people in times of crisis. But more and more new incidents of abuse tend to shake people's confidence. So in this case, too, the main interest is not to lose even more followers.
The extent of the Catholic Church's regret in France is shown by the planned compensation payments, because France is a laicist state, i.e. church and state are completely separate, and this compensation is to be paid with the help of donations from the believers. This is an extremely cynical matter, considering that there are still many victims of abuse among the believers in France who are now supposed to pay for their own compensation.