3,677 sex abuse cases in German Catholic Church

Elias Hubbard
September 15, 2018

According to both media outlets, the study says the victims were mostly boys, more than half of whom were aged 13 or younger.

Every sixth case involved a rape, and in 75 percent of the cases, the victim and perpetrator knew each other through the church.

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".

"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.

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.

He said the aim of the study was to shed light on "this dark side of our Church, for the sake of those affected, but also for us ourselves to see the errors and to do everything to prevent them from being repeated". 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".

In 2010, the German church was roiled by a sex abuse scandal triggered by the head of a Jesuit school in Berlin who went public about decades-long sexual abuse of high school students by clergy. "We are dismayed and ashamed by it", said Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier on behalf of the bishops' conference.

The Vatican had no immediate comment on the Spiegel report.

The damning German study is the latest in a series of blows to the Roman Catholic Church.

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

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Bishops' Conference, asked for the meeting after Archbishop Vigano last month accused the Pope of knowing for years about sexual misconduct by former US cardinal Theodore McCarrick and doing nothing about it.

The Pope's supporters vehemently question the credibility of this accusation, which the pontiff has refused to respond to.

It came after a grand jury report detailed seven decades of abuse in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. An investigation earlier this year in the United States found rampant sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by about 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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