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Archbishop Zollitsch says Catholic Church 'failed' in abuse scandal

The Local · 20 Sep 2010, 18:05

Published: 20 Sep 2010 18:05 GMT+02:00

"We know that we failed," Archbishop Zollitsch, chairman of the German Ecumenical Conference, told its autumn meeting, adding that the problem of widespread molestation had been "recognised too late."

Sexual abuse is at the top of the agenda of the bishops' gathering following a series of scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church to its foundations in the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

Zollitsch said Church leaders were working to "plot the way forward" and prevent further cases of molestation by priests and other Catholic officials. He said payouts to victims were also being considered but declined to discuss how much was on the table. However he dismissed a demand by a prominent victims' group for €80,000 ($105,000) per person as unrealistic.

Zollitsch said most of those affected were not looking for financial "compensation." "They want to be heard," he said.

Like elsewhere in Europe, Germany was hit earlier this year by revelations that hundreds of children were physically or sexually abused in institutions throughout the country, all but a handful run by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church in Germany has said it failed to investigate properly claims of abuse and that in some cases there was a cover-up, with paedophile priests simply moved elsewhere instead of being disciplined and reported to the police.

It has also faced accusations of foot-dragging on reparations for victims, most of whom suffered their abuse several decades ago.

German Jesuit leaders said Friday they were prepared to offer payouts without waiting for action by the Ecumenical Conference.

Late last month the Church in Germany unveiled tougher guidelines on investigating and preventing child sex abuse that it hopes will stop a repeat of the hugely damaging revelations of this year.

The pope on Sunday said at the end of a state visit to Britain that the scandals over paedophile priests had seriously weakened Church leaders' "moral credibility."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:12 September 20, 2010 by SNAPnetwork
Regarding news that German Jesuits offer a token $6500 to abuse victims:

Jesuits agreed to pay $7.5 million to 2 disabled men abused by clergy

September 06, 2002|By Harriet Chiang, Chronicle Legal Affairs Writer

The California Province of the Society of Jesus agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by two mentally disabled men who were sexually abused by members of the clergy while living at the Jesuit retirement center in Los Gatos.

The two victims -- dishwashers who lived at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center for 30 years until they moved out recently -- said they were subjected to repeated acts of sodomy and molestation for at least five years.

Fr. Thomas Smolich, now the top Jesuit official in the United States, was involved with the $7.5 million settlement.

20:27 September 20, 2010 by wenddiver
The Jesuits are swine. I attended Loyola, New Orleans and I can say the only long term effect it had was to make me belive in Lutheranism.

I did learn a lot of respect for the non-order Catholic Priests, who were ussually very well adjusted. My favorite was from Italy and was an expert on the race were the Ford GT beat the Ferrari at LeManns, French and Italian wines, modern art and music.

The Priests lead really unnatural lives that Christ never asked them to, so failure is natural.

Martin Luther was right, get a wife to keep you out of trouble and make sure that you remain hygenic.
21:06 September 20, 2010 by JohnPaul44
The sex abuse scandals are a drop in the bucket if you look at the history of the Christian churches, both Catholic and Protestants. Literally millions of people were horribly murdered by the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the witch hunts during the centuries of Christian rule in Europe. Clergymen even proudly wrote textbooks on methods of torture to be used by the church. In the suppression of "heretics," whole towns were burned, families butchered, even family pets tortured as "emissaries of Satan."

Most "good Christians" today are totally ignorant of the history of their own church. Others indignantly dismiss it by saying "Oh, those people back then weren't real Christians!" or "They thought they were doing 'God's work'!"

Now these people presume to preach morality to us?
05:10 September 21, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
"Archbishop Zollitsch says Catholic Church 'failed' in abuse scandal"

Well, yeah, that's one way of putting it. Any other ways we can think of?
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