Publish at October 19 2021 Updated November 01 2021

A Church Shaken by Free Speech

Pedophile Priest Crisis Has Forced Popes to Apologize

Since the early 2000s, the Catholic Church has not been enjoying its best days. Instead, it is coming out for recent and old pedophilia stories that have taken place all over the world. So much so that Popes Benedict XVI and Francis have had to officially apologize to victims of abuse by priests. Let us add that documentaries and reports had also shown that the Church hierarchy often tried to hide this reality.

What triggered the crack in the wall of this huge ecclesiastical institution? Already, as sociologist Olivier Bobineau explains, the status of the child was changing at the end of the 20th century.

Indeed morals have changed if some French figures were practically praising pedophilia in the '60s and '70s. Consequently, these stories were no longer "banal experiences" but a trauma, marking individuals for life.

Then, the dithering of the institution did not help. Under John Paul II, errant priests were invited to appear before an ecclesiastical tribunal. This approach did not take into account the criminal nature of the acts. It will make changes in the pontiff for the Vatican to recognize that these are matters that should go before the justice of each country.

Time: 9min36

Illustration : Stefan Kunze on Unsplash

Learn more about this resource


  • Apologies and Reparations




Access exclusive services for free

Subscribe and receive newsletters on:

  • The lessons
  • The learning resources
  • The file of the week
  • The events
  • The technologies

In addition, index your favorite resources in your own folders and find your history of consultation.

Subscribe to the newsletter

Add to my playlists

Create a playlist

Receive our news by email

Every day, stay informed about digital learning in all its forms. Great ideas and resources. Take advantage, it's free!