Churches: Catholics: Dealing with abuse not completed

Churches: Catholics: Dealing with abuse not completed

About two years ago, the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) set up a working group to deal with the abuse scandal. She is now taking stock.

The Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) does not consider the processing of the abuse scandal in the church to be over for a long time. ZdK Vice President Wolfgang Klose called on Saturday at the spring general assembly in Munich, among other things, for the establishment of structures for processing cases in Catholic associations. In addition, it must be clarified how the ZdK, as a lay organization for Catholics, can work together with the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) on the subject. Klose demanded that the committee must take a critical look at the processing in the DBK and the Catholic dioceses: “We are still at the beginning of the processing.”

He thus took stock for the ZdK working group on refurbishment. In the two years since it was appointed, contact with politicians in particular has been intensified. There is “hope that the state will become even more involved and accompany, support and, above all, monitor independent church work more closely and consistently,” said Klose.

The ZdK General Assembly is the highest organ of the organization of Catholic lay people. It meets twice a year – and now in Munich for the first time after the conclusion of the so-called synodal path, the reform process in the Catholic Church in Germany, which was extremely controversial from the conservative side. “We insist on the implementation of the resolutions of the synodal path in all German dioceses,” said ZdK President Irme Stetter-Karp.

By bike to the Pope

Victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church meanwhile left Munich by bike to see Pope Francis in Rome on Saturday. “The Catholic Church still hasn’t got over the scandal,” said Dietmar Achleitner, who was abused by a Catholic priest between the ages of 10 and 17. “We want to send a message to the Pope.”

The spokesman for the affected advisory board of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Richard Kick, emphasized: “We want to encourage those affected to get up, get in touch, talk about it.”

After a stopover in Bolzano this Monday, to which the Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, is also expected, the journey is to continue in the direction of the Vatican. The group is scheduled to arrive there on May 16, and participation in an audience with Pope Francis is planned for May 17.

In January 2022, a sensational report on sexual violence in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising was published. The study by a Munich law firm assumes at least 497 victims and 235 alleged perpetrators – and a much larger number of unreported cases. Since the publication of the study, the diocese has become aware of 54 “new facts”, according to a spokeswoman, 19 of which were only two to three years ago.

Source: Stern

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