Saturday, 15 September 2018

Catholic Abuse News - Germans Do it Too

Cardinal Reinhard Marx
Working with PR advisers on best way to present the report.
Catholic Church in Germany: Study Counts 3677 Abuse Victims - SPIEGEL ONLINE

It might be some consolation to Catholics in the USA, Australia, Ireland, Chile, Mexico, etc, to know that their children are not the only ones at risk from predatory Catholic priests. According to a report in Spiegel Online (which suffers slightly from Google Translate), German children also are, and have been since at least 1946.

According to a confidential report leaked to Der Spiegel, between 1946 and 2014, 3677 mostly male children were molested by 1670 Catholic priests and the figure could be double that. More than half of the victims were aged 13 or less; one in six were raped and three quarters of them were in a church or pastoral relationship with their abuser.

The report, the MHG study, had been commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference and was carried out by a research consortium of the Universities of Mannheim, Heidelberg and Giessen. It was to have been presented to the Conference in Fulda on September 25 by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the Conference's Chairman.

The study says these figures are almost certainly a conservative underestimate because nothing would have been known had the victims themselves not come forward. The personal records did not contain information and in many cases had been 'destroyed or manipulated' (read doctored or altered) so there almost certainly exists a "dark field" of unreported cases. They estimated that half of the cases would not have been detected from the records.

The report says that there is no reason to believe these abuses have now ceased because the abuses carried on right up to the end of the investigation period.

The responses of the Catholic Church to these abuses followed the same pattern seen elsewhere. The priests were often transferred to another place without the host community being made aware of his behaviour, so puting new potential victims at risk. Only one third of of abusers had to submit to cannon law procedures and penalties were often minimal or non-existent.

Der Spiegel reports that Cardinal Marx is still working with PR advisers on the best way to present the report, entitled "Sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests and male religious in the area of ​​the German Bishops' Conference".

Again, as with the USA, Ireland, Australia and indeed everywhere else that these abuses have come to light, we see the same laxed attitude of the Church, the same casual and callous disregard for their victims, the same 'understanding' attitude towards the abusers and the same attempt to cover up and conceal. It's as though sexual depredation on minors, the tolerance for it and acquiescence to it, and the instinct to cover it up and allow it to continue, are not particularly endemic in or unique to any particular national culture in which the Catholic Church operates but in the culture of the Catholic Church itself.

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1 comment :

  1. there is no reason to believe these abuses have now ceased because the abuses carried on right up to the end of the investigation period

    No reason to think they began only with the beginning of the investigation period, either (1946). This could easily have been going on for centuries -- priestly celibacy was imposed in the eleventh century. It's not as if many people would have talked.


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