• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Church 'still dealing with history of abuse': bishop
A float set up by protesters outside the German Bishops' Conference at Trier Cathedral. Files labelled "Abuse cases" are hidden under the bishop's cloak. Photo:DPA

Church 'still dealing with history of abuse': bishop

DPA/The Local · 8 Dec 2015, 10:36

Published: 08 Dec 2015 10:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Dec 2015 10:36 GMT+01:00

"I don't believe that this chapter will ever come to an end," said Bishop Stephan Ackermann, the man charged with investigating past abuse by the Conference of German Bishops (DBK).

At the beginning of 2010, it began to emerge that priests at an elite Jesuit school in Berlin had sexually assaulted dozens of students in the 1970s and 80s.

The Church admitted that it failed to properly investigate reports of abuse and in some cases even covered them up by sending accused priests elsewhere.

Hundreds of more cases came to light and the Church launched investigations and prevention measures.

People were still coming forward to report sexual crimes by the clergy today, Ackermann explained, although the numbers have fallen away since the scandal broke five years ago.

But Ackermann, who is also Bishop of Trier, explained that for many, it can take a long time before they feel they are able to speak about what happened. Many of the cases date back to the 1950s and 60s.

Stephan Ackermann, Bishop of Trier. Photo: DPA

"Some people report crimes with a very long time delay because only then do they feel the strength to say it," he said.

The DBK has recommended that around 1,600 victims be paid financial compensation.

And last year Ackermann announced a three-and-a-half-year independent study of abuse in the Church, set to cost around €1 million.

But the bishop is hopeful that things have improved in the Church in recent times, with fewer cases reported relating to the recent past.

Story continues below…

"I believe that at present, the danger that this happens is much smaller, because people have become more alert and sensitive," he said.

But despite the Church's introduction of a set of preventive measures designed to spot abuse, "I don't delude myself that this will never happen again," Ackermann added.

SEE ALSO: Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Far-right AfD leader injured by flying frozen cake
Jörg Meuthen and a cake. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right AfD party was attacked with a cake while attending a political event on Monday. But the fact the dessert was frozen made the act "dangerous", according to the politician.

Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake
A passenger boat on Lake Starnberg. Photo: DPA

"I love chasing the ships, and what a great feeling it is when they sound the horn!" he gleefully exclaims.

What are Merkel's chances for remaining Chancellor?
Photo: DPA.

She's already held the Chancellery for over a decade, but infighting with political allies as well as a rocky response to her refugee policies may put a damper on Angela Merkel's staying power.

German EU commissioner doubts Brexit will happen
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Photo: EPA.

Germany's EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger raised doubts on Tuesday about whether Britain would leave the bloc, saying he wouldn't bet on "Brexit".

Merkel offers Russia a lifting of sanctions - if it behaves
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she has "the very greatest interest in stopping sanctions" against Russia, Reuters reports.

'Idiot' youth lets regional train drive over him as dare
Photo: DPA

In a stunt police have described as "incomprehensible idiocy," a drunk young man from Munich lay down on the tracks in front of a fast-moving train and let it ride over him.

'Unfriendly' Germans make expat life harder: report
Photo: Pexels.com

Expats in Germany generally find it great for families and starting a career, but were turned off by the language barriers and "unfriendly" Germans upon arrival, according to a new report.

Is German diplomacy getting too chummy with Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA/AFP Pool.

Critics have been questioning the German Foreign Minister's recent series of comments about working closer with Russia, with some labelling the diplomat a "Russia-sympathizer".

Police investigate after mosque door is bricked shut
The bricked-up door. Photo: Facebook/Netzwerk für Flüchtlinge in Parchim.

Unknown people have bricked up the entrance to a mosque in northeastern Germany and stuck racist flyers to their masonry work.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
7,567
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd