The French government on Thursday summoned for explanation a top archbishop who said priests should not go to the police after hearing about child sexual abuse during confession. Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort made the remark after a government inquiry lifted the lid on “massive” sexual assault in the French Catholic Church, estimating 216,000 victims over 70 years in systemic abuse covered up by a “veil of secrecy.” The commission recommended a series of measures to protect minors from predatory clergy, which included priests informing prosecutors of any child abuse they hear mentioned during the act of confession, a sacrament traditionally bound by strict secrecy. “We need to find another way of doing this,” Moulins-Beaufort, head of the Bishops’ Conference of France (CEF), told France Info radio on Wednesday. The secrecy of confession “is above the laws of the Republic. It creates a free space for speaking before God,” he said.