French bishops agree to compensation for sex abuse victims

A French Catholic Church official says the country's bishops have "agreed in principle" to provide financial compensation to sex abuse victims whose cases are too old to be taken to court.

Vincent Neymon, the deputy general secretary of the French bishops' conference, says he hopes a system for making "a financial gesture" to victims will be in place in under a year.

France hasn't been immune to the clerical abuse scandal that is the topic of a Vatican summit continuing Friday.

FILE - In this Jan.7 2019 file photo, Francois Devaux, one of the plaintiffs and President of the "La Parole Libérée" (the Liberated Word) Victims' Group and self-declared victim of Father Preynat talks to the media as he arrives to attend the trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin at the Lyon courthouse in Lyon, central France. Still coming to terms with their responsibility in the clerical sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic church, French bishops have finally accepted the principle of awarding a financial compensation to victims in France. (AP PhotoLaurent Cipriani, File)

The French church had been reluctant to create a victims compensation program like many other national bishops' conferences but received pressure from people whose cases exceeded the statute of limitations on child sex crimes.

France recently extended the limit from 20 to 30 years after a victim turns 18.