The French Catholic Church has for years protected priests and others under its authority who were accused of sexual assaults, and paedophile crimes in particular.

By Mathieu Martiniere, Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Périsse

This Mediapart investigation reveals how 25 bishops, five of who are still active, were directly involved in protecting 24 people, mostly priests, accused of sexual
abuse.

They were among 32 alleged perpetrators of sex crimes who are identified here as having been protected by the Church, and whose alleged victims total 339. The method employed often involved the transfer of the alleged perpetrators, a number of who have now been convicted for sex crimes, to distant geographical locations both in France and abroad.