Friday, 21 September, 2018

Germany's Catholic Church 'dismayed and ashamed' by child sex abuse

Germany's Catholic Church 'dismayed and ashamed' by child sex abuse 3,677 sex abuse cases in German Catholic Church
Pablo Mccormick | 15 September, 2018, 02:51

The study also noted that some records had been "destroyed or manipulated", warning therefore that the scale of the abuse may be even greater.

BERLIN - The Catholic Church in Germany acknowledged a "depressing and shameful" legacy of sexual abuse on Wednesday after a leaked study said clerics had abused thousands of children over a 70-year period. Every sixth case involved rape and at least 1,670 clergy were involved.

Most of the victims were boys, and more than half were aged 13 or younger.

The study was compiled by three German universities, using 38,000 documents from 27 German dioceses.

The document, commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference, revealed that 1,670 clerics and priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, in the country between 1946 and 2014, news magazine Der Spiegel said.

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Der Spiegel quoted the study as saying that the Church had often transferred clerics accused of sexual abuse without providing the new host community with "appropriate information" about them.

Speaking on behalf of the Conference, Bishop Ackermann said that, while he regretted that the study had been leaked, he was convinced the survey was comprehensive and thorough.

"I stress that the study is a measure that we owe not only to the Church but first and foremost, to those affected".

Australia concluded a wide ranging royal commission into child sex abuse within the Catholic Church in 2017.

"For my shortcomings of the past and of the present I take full responsibility and wish that I could wipe away all the pain, confusion and disillusionment that people feel, and I wish that I could redo some decisions I have made in my three decades as a bishop and each time get it right", Wuerl said in the September 13 letter.

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After its initial impact, Byard said the most serious concern will be massive rainfalls that would produce unsafe inland flooding. Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina , Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

Deutsche Welle reported that church authorities pursued only one-third of alleged abusers. He said the Church had planned to provide counselling helplines for people affected by its contents.

But elsewhere on Wednesday, Pope Francis summoned Catholic bishops to the Vatican for a discussion on how to protect children in February next year.

Last month, a grand jury in the USA state of Pennsylvania released the findings of the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse into the Catholic Church in the United States, finding that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

The Kentucky Attorney General wants to launch a criminal probe into allegations of Catholic clerical sex abuse.

Earlier this week, the Vatican said it is preparing the "necessary clarifications" about accusations that top Vatican officials - including Pope Francis himself - covered up the sexual misconduct of the now-disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the US.

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