Catholic priests in Germany 'abused thousands of children'

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

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

Spiegel Online wrote Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 the report it obtained - commissioned by the German Bishops Conference and researched by three universities - concludes that more than half of the victims were 13 or younger and most were boys. The study documents 3,677 cases of abuse.

Ackermann said in the statement that the aim of the study was to "gain more clarity and transparency about this dark side of our church, for the sake of those affected, but also to see for ourselves the wrongdoings and to ensure this can not be repeated".

Over the last decade, several German Catholic institutions have revealed cases of child sexual abuse, including an elite Jesuit school in Berlin which admitted to systematic sexual abuse of pupils by two priests in the 1970s and 1980s. Every sixth case involved rape and at least 1,670 clergy were involved.

All 27 dioceses in Germany participated in the research project.

While some of the comments and statements from the Vatican since the scandal have been met with scorn, Pope Francis has since called for a meeting of Catholic church leaders to address the issue in February.

The Church had often transferred clerics accused of sexual abuse without providing the new host community with "appropriate information" about them, the study found. Again, I emphasize: "The study is a measure that we owe not only to the Church, but above all, and first and foremost, to those affected".

Cardinal Donald Wuerl says he is prepared to step down in the wake of an intense firestorm of criticism over his handling of sex abuse claims dating back decades.

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

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Deutsche Welle reported that church authorities pursued only one-third of alleged abusers.

More than 3,600 children were sexually assaulted by Catholic priests in Germany over almost seven decades, local media reported on Wednesday (Sept 12), citing a study commissioned by the German Bishops Conference.

The Church had planned to offer counselling helplines around the official publication date of the report for people who are affected by it, he said.

On Wednesday, the Vatican announced that it will summon the presidents of every national bishops conference across the globe for a summit on preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children.

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

Pope Francis was caught up in the scandal last month, after a former Vatican diplomat accused him of ignoring allegations against a USA cardinal for five years.

Last month, a United States grand jury released study findings showing 301 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania had sexually abused minors over 70 years.

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