• Germany edition
 
Roman Catholic church reveals sex abuse figures
Photo: DPA

Roman Catholic church reveals sex abuse figures

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Woodcarving champions - in pictures
Photo: DPA

Woodcarving champions - in pictures

Chainsaws, wood planes and sand paper were out over the weekend in Saxony-Anhalt where more than 30 artists competed in the International Woodcarving Championships. READ  

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor
Liberian health workers in protective clothing bury an Ebola victim in early July. Photo: DPA

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor

A World Health Organisation doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus while trying to help stop it spreading through West Africa could travel to a Hamburg clinic for treatment. READ  

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya
Black smoke billowing from a storage depot of fuel that was hit by a rocket the night before near the airport in Tripoli on July 28th. Photo: EPA/SABRI ELMHEDWI

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya

UPDATE: Germany pulled its embassy staff out of Tripoli on Monday, a day after advising all its citizens currently in Libya to leave the strife-torn country immediately. READ  

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot
Photo: DPA

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot

A policeman is being investigated for manslaughter after he shot a fleeing man, wanted on drug charges, in the back of the head. The officer claimed he had aimed for his legs. READ  

Germany's students fail to graduate in time
A German student protests against the Bologna reforms in Mainz in 2010. Photo: DPA

Germany's students fail to graduate in time

Leaked figures show the average student in Germany still takes around four years to complete a bachelor's degree, suggesting controversial reforms to higher education have so far failed to cut down the number of Germany's perpetual students. READ  

Lawmakers earn millions on the side
Bavarian lawmaker Peter Gauweiler made almost €1 million on the side. Photo: DPA

Lawmakers earn millions on the side

A quarter of all politicians in the German Parliament are making additional income on top of their parliamentary salary, a transparency group said on Saturday. Thirteen lawmakers have made more than €100,000 in the last few months. READ  

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video
Schweinsteiger has apologized after the video of him on holiday was posted on YouTube. Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video

UPDATE: Germany’s World Cup winning star Bastian Schweinsteiger has apologized after a video emerged of him on YouTube leading a chant insulting Borussia Dortmund supporters and players. READ  

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle
Konrad Fischer with his find. Photo: DPA

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle

UPDATE: A fisherman who found the world's oldest message in a bottle tossed into the sea in northern Germany has failed in his attempt to sell it on eBay. The auction was stopped at the last minute. READ  

JobTalk Germany
Job seekers frustrated with application wait
Photo: DPA

Job seekers frustrated with application wait

A new YouGov survey shows job seekers in Germany are exasperated with the application process, complaining about poor job adverts and slow responses. Recruiters agree. READ  

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam
Bild editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann said there was no room for such comments in Bild publications but stopped short of an apology. Photo: DPA

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam

Germany's biggest newspaper, Bild, was forced to climb down over the weekend after a highly critical and controversial comment piece which attacked Islam as a barrier to integration appeared in its Sunday sister paper. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
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

3,219
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd