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The French actor broke the silence on child sexual abuse inside the church

Paris (AP) – At the age of eight, Laurent Martinez. A pastor raped. Forty years later, They Chose to create of that The story in a play, to show the devastating consequences and how to speak can help the victims to heal and rebuild.

The name of the play is “Sorry?” Adapted from the life of the French author and actor. They Abuse ate from within and then struggled with daily life.

MartinezThe game was shown to bishops earlier this year, before an important report was presented last week which estimated that about 3 330,000 children France Rape has taken place in the last 70 years. FranceOf Catholic Church.

Despite the shocking revelations, Martinez It is a pity that “there is no immediate sense”. Church.

“They clearly scoff at the numbers,” but “they’re just talking, talking, talking.” They He said in an interview with the Associated Press.

For Martinez, now 52, ​​the memories of abuse are alive.

The pastor who was teaching. of that Catechism classes found excuses to see an 8-year-old child. Martinez Alone, kissing and touching of that Genitals, They Said. one day, Martinez Remember, the abuser was invited. It To of that Forced the apartment and the boy to have oral sex. Under French law, it would be considered rape.

Martinez Told later of that The parents, who alerted the area, and the pastor were evacuated. They Believes that the pastor is dead now. Like most rape victims ChurchEspecially before the misuse of the church in the 2000s Martinez No legal recourse. It will be too late now due to boundary laws.

For decades, Martinez The abuse was buried inside. It, Just talking about it. of that Two wives

“For me, sex was marked as a forbidden thing in me. So it was very difficult for me to go through it, and I had to find very patient partners. They Said.

The play shows how the abuse was affected. of that Emotional and sexual life as an adult It Sometimes they get aggressive or over-react to everyday worries – even how it happened. It Be very careful with children.

Martinez Said They Spent 40 years “wearing someone else’s mask” and “trying to hide something like cancer inside me”.

A few years ago, They Felt They Need to speak because They I was tired of keeping the trauma inside. It.

“I thought: I need to do something. It’s not possible to continue like this. They Said.

The play was first screened at the Avignon Arts Festival in 2019. They Told earlier of that Two sons, now 21 and 11, about the abuse. Since then, MartinezDrama is playing in cinemas. Paris And beyond France And its performance was shown. FranceCatholic Television Network KTO

“I’ve been in pain for so long, and now I’m an actor … I’m acting on my pain. I’m not in it anymore,” he said.

In recent weeks, Martinez, Who lost of that Faith took a new, decisive step after the abuse. After much hesitation, They Asked the head of the Bishop of Conference. France, Eric de Mullins-Beaufort, if he could find it. MartinezSorry in the name of of that Abuser

They Accepted and it was emotionally strong for everyone that night, Martinez Remember. “I forgive the pastor who abused me.”

Then, “I really felt the full burden of anger, completely free from the desire for revenge. All the bad feelings I just had, just because I forgave.” They Said.

“Slowly the trauma is fading,” he said. Martinez Added. “The thing that helped the most was being able to forgive the pastor.”

The actor was previously in contact with Mullins Beaufort, who supported the play and offered to show it to French bishops. ChurchAttempts to uncover embarrassing secrets that have long been hidden.

This offer is a testament to the delayed realization of Catholic classification that listening to survivors is a key part of it. ChurchYour own process of helping to deal with the problem and fix it.

Pope Francis realized this fact at the 2019 summit in which he met with the heads of all bishops’ conferences around the world to testify about the abuse of victims and the lifelong trauma they have caused. Was given. For many bishops, this was the first time they had ever heard of a survivor, because often Church Ignored the victims or considered them enemies in order to harm the institution.

I included many recommendations in last week’s report on church abuse. France There are initiatives that institutionalize church classification methods so that victims can be better helped and heard. The report estimates that at least 2,900-3,200 male pastor members were responsible for child sexual abuse. France From the 1950s, and accuses. Church Systematic cover-up.

Martinez It knows of that The game is helping other people who have been through similar trials, and hopefully will encourage them to speak up and seek help.

Some come to see me and say: ‘Thank you very much, because, you know, this is my story too. And you are the first person I am telling.

“The hardest thing is to say it once” Martinez emphasized. “Then you have the power to say it over and over again. And then you are free, or at least you are on the right path to freedom.


Jeffrey Schaefer inside Paris And in Rome, Nicole Onefield collaborated.

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