Agir pour notre Église (Action for our Church) is a group of about 20 faithful (mostly laypeople) born in France in late October 2021 in the wake of the release of the CIASE-report, the final report issued by the independent commission on sexual abuse in the Church established by the Bishops’ Conference of France and the Conference of Religious of France (grouping most congregations of men and women religious in France).
We mostly met on different social networks, although some of us already knew each other outside of the internet. We are not a collective of victims (though some of us are and most of us know some victims), and we are no spokespersons for them: we do believe that the voice of victims must be heard before anything, in the name of their intimate knowledge of systemic abuse in the Church built upon their own experience.
The sheer shock and stupor with which the report was met and the attempts to rebuke its results and methodology quickly lead us to provide some guidance to welcome and read the report, in the form of a comprehensive FAQ section on this website. We also provide resources on how to assist a victim who starts speaking about their ordeal, and guidance about how to make the report known in our parishes and communities.
Many of us in 2022 have joined the taskforce put together by the Bishops’ Conference of France in the form of a dozen of workgroups tasked with producing measures to be implemented in the Church in various areas (governance, training of priests, canon law and its implementation in the ecclesiastical judicial system, etc.), based on the recommendations and the remedial measures contained in the CIASE-report.
More recently, in October 2022, in the wake of the revelations surrounding the case of emeritus bishop Mgr. Michel Santier, we have organized and coordinated demonstrations in front of cathedrals throughout France and on social networks during the days leading up to the pleniary assembly of the Bishops’ Conference in Lourdes.