French Catholic Church to provide clergy with scannable IDs to battle sexual abuse

·1-min read
© Loïc Venance, AFP

Rattled by repeated cases of sexual abuse over the years, the French Catholic Church will soon provide digital ID cards with scannable QR codes that will offer colour-coded background information – ranging from green to orange to red – on bishops, priests and deacons. But the new measure is raising eyebrows.

Old sins cast long shadows. After centuries of secrecy, the French Bishop’s Conference (CEF) has decided it will be more transparent by equipping priests, bishops and deacons with digital, scannable identification cards. No bigger than a bankcard, the IDs will certify whether or not its holder is fit to perform a sermon or has the right to hear confession.

Essentially, the cards identify whether or not the Church member is facing a sexual abuse charge.

When the announcement dropped on Wednesday 10 May, it sparked a mini revolution within the French Catholic Church. The bishop of Troyes, a town in eastern France, called it a “cultural shift”.

Organisations who represent victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church aren’t necessarily convinced.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Child sex abuse reparations: How will the French Catholic Church pay?
How and when will French Church compensate victims of ‘systemic’ child abuse?
Cardinal accused of sexual assault retires from Vatican post