This weekend’s meeting and the testimonies collected come 50 years after the events. Isn’t it too late?
Antoine Garapon, Chairman of the Recognition and Reparation Commission (CRR) : the particularity of this commission is that we intervene in prescribed cases where there is nothing more to expect from civil justice. In these cases of sexual abuse, we know that it takes a long time before we can talk. The victims are ashamed, they feel guilty, they cannot tell their loved ones about it. It is the law of silence. A large number of victims have not yet spoken. They remain locked in their silence and their loneliness. The objective of the commission is to seek them out.
How was the meeting on Saturday?
Saturday, in Loctudy, thanks to the determination of these women (Marie-Aurore and Raymonde, editor’s note), to the action of the members of the 85 collective who unearthed this affair, and to the relay of the press, there is a social event that brought people together. During this meeting, we witnessed poignant testimonies, but also reunions which gave the victims the opportunity to talk to each other.
This ability to come out of silence should be an encouragement for all those who are still locked in their memories. It happens very late, the affair should have broken out at the time, but we cannot compare the society of 50 years ago to that of today.
What are the victims asking for?
This weekend, we started a process of repairing people that we will have to see again. It is the beginning of a reparation and the demands of the victims are different. It must be understood that if the past cannot be reconstructed, it is always possible to build its future. Speech is important. Bringing out buried memories is a way of reclaiming one’s history, of maintaining peaceful relationships with it. Reparation is primarily psychic because it is never too late. Then, we can also bring a financial repair which can be a way to revive the future. No victim of Brother Gabriel has ruled out the claim for financial compensation and the brothers of Saint-Gabriel are ready to compensate.
Among the cases already dealt with by the commission, how do you judge that of Brother Gabriel?
This is one of the most serious and devastating abuses that I have come across in three years of Ciase (the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church which carried out the investigation NDLR) and since the creation of the CRR, four months ago. This underlines its importance. Moreover, the originality of the weekend was marked by the presence of a historian, who will carry out a historical study of this affair with a memorial objective of describing what happened, in order to better prepare for the future. in particular to pay attention to weak signals that we could not or wanted to see at the time.
Today the word circulates much more easily, especially through social networks. It is quite unlikely that such crimes can today occur with virtual impunity.
To contact the CRR: email@example.com, tel.09 73 88 25 71