The head of the commission investigating the scandal claims to have found between 2,900 and 3,200 pedophile priests or other church members.
Thousands of pedophiles have operated in the French Catholic Church since 1950, the head of an independent commission of inquiry into the scandal said days before the publication of his report.
The commission’s research had uncovered between 2,900 and 3,200 pedophile priests or other members of the church, Jean-Marc Sauvé told AFP news agency on Sunday, adding that it was a “minimum estimate”.
The commission’s report is due for release on Tuesday after two and a half years of research based on church, court and police records, as well as interviews with witnesses.
The report, which Sauve says is 2,500 pages long, will attempt to quantify the number of offenders and the number of victims.
She will also look at “the mechanisms, particularly institutional and cultural” within the Church that have allowed pedophiles to stay and will propose 45 proposals.
The independent commission was set up in 2018 by the French Catholic Church in response to several scandals that shook the Church in France and around the world.
Prior to his training, Pope Francis passed a landmark measure requiring those who know about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church to report it to their superiors.
Composed of 22 legal professionals, doctors, historians, sociologists and theologians, the commission’s mission was to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse committed by religious dating back to the 1950s.