• Germany's news in English
 

Roman Catholic church reveals sex abuse figures

Published: 07 Dec 2012 16:45 GMT+01:00

The findings were part of a scientific study ordered after the Church was thrown into crisis two years ago when hundreds came forward alleging they were abused as minors between the 1950s and 1980s.

Based on dozens of expert appraisals of Catholic clergy members submitted by 21 of Germany's 27 dioceses, it said the clergy had been accused of 576 cases of sexual assault between 2000 and 2010.

Three-quarters of the 265 alleged targets of abuse were male, the German Bishops' Conference said, releasing the report drawn up by three forensic centres for research.

Most of the cases took place between the 1960s and 1990s "in a period when a different social awareness and a lower sensitivity to the theme of sexual acts on children and youths still prevailed," Norbert Leygraf, head of the Institute of Forensic Psychiatry at Duisburg-Essen University, said in a

statement.

It said that "only in few cases" was the alleged abuse the result of an abnormal psychological condition, such as paedophilia, and cases largely reflected the rate of the problem in society at large.

"In particular a sexual preference disorder as defined by paedophilia or hebephilia was only diagnosed in a minority of clergy members," Leygraf said.

"In this regard this is not significantly different from the prevalence in the overall German population," he added.

The study was launched in April 2011.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:52 December 7, 2012 by grinners
Thank goodness God can just forgive them all.

That could get you in real trouble else where!
18:21 December 7, 2012 by Zubair Khan
Sole or main reason for this abuse will be interesting to know!
20:35 December 7, 2012 by pjnt
If you like to drive you become a car racer.

If you like food you become a cook.

If you like little boys? As distasteful as that sounds, the clergy have historically been a haven for people that cannot express their sexual desires publicly - being illegal. The church makes it worse by covering up these offenders, thus giving a protective shield over them, attracting more.

I would say the number is much higher, but this is a start.
21:52 December 7, 2012 by Clarissa Smith
As a progressive Catholic I have to say: We need to relativize our church and its traditional values. I was raised within this word and pretty soon found out: This traditional hype is unhealthy and even harmful. It makes people trust clergymen, although clergymen do not deserve that. Because clergymen are humans like us lays and there is no reason to trust them more than any other person you meet in the secular world. And to be just, if you meet a nun, feeling like she was supposed to be nice, and after a while you get the notion she's mean-spirited, don't wonder. She's a human nun and not a saint from heaven.

I'm actually a bugbear of all clergymen and they pretty soon fear me. I pretty soon take on them, criticize them. Because these guys are overvalued and so to speak overtrusted. If they expect that kind of trust, I reject it. But if you come from a small-minded Catholic family, and feel like these clergymen are sort of exalted, you're a potential victim.......

By the way, my church is stockpiling secular stuff and way too wealthy. And looks too much like a museum. Jesus would probably feel like taking a great big broom.....
23:23 December 7, 2012 by keeps71
THE RAPE OF CHILDREN IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE RELATIVISED. And what the hell is this idiot of a psychiatrist talking about? There was never a "reduced sensitivity" to the rape of children in the 60s, 70s or 80s. Reduced awareness, yes. And what do you call someone who abuses children other than a paedophile? It would have been a more balanced article if we'd heard reactions from the church (apologies?) and maybe some victims rather than this vapid shrink suggesting nothing's wrong with the catholic church.
03:39 December 8, 2012 by gorongoza
No wonder why churches in Germany are virtually empty.

Welcome to the FIRST WORLD ! A world of PAEDOPHILES.

My first impression of Germany was that of parents who care so much about their children - that was because I could see parents always with their children beside them. I however soon learnt the really reason for the trend: they are scared for their children. Its actually like a jungle: if you just relapse in your watch over your kids the marauding child molesters will sofort pounce them.
11:36 December 8, 2012 by MattyB
20:35 December 7, 2012 by pjnt

Much of what you say is correct, but do not forget another major source of this type of sick behavior; schools. There are far, far more cases of this sort occuring every year in our schools than in Catholic churches. Well, at least in America. You can hardly pick up a newspaper without reading about a teacher having sex with students.
14:49 December 8, 2012 by raandy
The Catholic Church lost all credibility over sexual abuse, more from hiding it that if they would have immediately reported these incidents to the police.
23:18 December 8, 2012 by jamboree
I wonder what can be done to improve checks.

It is clearly a known problem in many aspects of society.

I grew up thinking I could generally respect and trust the clergy, police, firemen, medical staff, teachers and so on. That is why this item is generally shocking.

On a recent programme, one child abuse victim reporting his sexual abuse by a carer that happened in the 70s, said that he thought if he said anything at the time, then he would have been beaten by his parents.
Today's headlines
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
Martin Sonneborn. Photo: DPA

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife

After winning a seat in the European Parliament last year on a commitment to 'milking Brussels,' satirical party Die Partei broke new ground. Now a 'Nazi Putsch' threatens to split the party asunder. READ  

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo
These feathered fugitives took flight from the zoo to get a birds-eye view of the world. Photo: DPA.

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo

A pair of pelicans with a serious case of wanderlust flew the coop from Osnabrück Zoo last week, only to find their way back days later. READ  

Fake plastic surgeon sentenced to 4 years
Christian B. sits in court where he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for falsely presenting himself as a doctor. Photo: DPA.

Fake plastic surgeon sentenced to 4 years

A man who performed cosmetic surgery on more than 50 different patients using fake medical certificates was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on Monday. READ  

Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Photo: DPA

Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue

A doctor from North Rhine-Westphalia will face charges for negligence and bodily harm, authorities said on Tuesday – after accidentally sending a living woman to the morgue. READ  

'Straw hat' robbers leave flowers as calling card
Photo: DPA

'Straw hat' robbers leave flowers as calling card

Brandenburg police are searching for two men who held up a goldsmiths' shop, leaving a pistol at the scene - as well as a bunch of sunflowers. READ  

Small town family disappears without trace
Photo: Winsen and Harburg police.

Small town family disappears without trace

No one has seen husband and wife Sylvia and Marco Schulze or their daughter, 12-year-old Miriam, since Thursday. Helicopters and search dogs have failed to find any trace of the family, leading local media and police to wonder: Where are the Schulzes? READ  

German army takes over Mali mission
Ursula von der Leyen in Mali on Monday. Photo: DPA

German army takes over Mali mission

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen visited Mali on Tuesday on the day that the Bundeswehr (German army) takes over control of the EU-training mission in the troubled west African state. READ  

Somalia suicide bomber was German: reports
The blast in Mogadishu killed 15 people. Photo: DPA

Somalia suicide bomber was German: reports

Information from security circles in Mogadishu suggests the suicide bomber who blew up a five-star hotel in the Somali capital on Sunday killing 15 people was a dual-national German from Bonn. READ  

Ex-minister: Merkel's Greece policy is 'fatal'
Former German vice-chancellor and foreign minister Joschka Fischer. Photo: DPA.

Ex-minister: Merkel's Greece policy is 'fatal'

Joschka Fischer, former German vice-chancellor and foreign minister between 1998 and 2005, unleashed an uncompromising attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel over her Greek policy in an article published by newpspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday. READ  

Two court cases to test criminal links to Isis
Photo: DPA

Two court cases to test criminal links to Isis

Islamic State members in Germany have turned to petty crime and selling stolen artifacts to fund the extremist group's war efforts, reports Der Westen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,083
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd