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Two women implicated in Catholic school sex abuse scandal

DPA/The Local · 18 Feb 2010, 14:47

Published: 18 Feb 2010 14:47 GMT+01:00

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“It has reached a dimension that was unimaginable before,” said Ursula Raue, the lawyer hired by the Cansisius secondary school in Berlin, where the scandal erupted in late January.

According to Raue, about 115 victims have come forward across the country, including some whom were not even enrolled at Jesuit schools.

“I am under the impression that there will still be more,” Raue said at a press conference.

The lawyer said she had also heard about victims who have taken their lives, while some men had spoken of their abuse for the first time, having never even told their wives.

So far between 40 and 50 former students at the Canisius school have alleged they were sexually abused in the 1970s and 80s after current headmaster Klaus Mertes sent a letter to some 600 former students who he believed may have been victims of at least two priests on staff at the elite school.

Since then reports of sexual abuse in other Catholic schools and organisations have spread throughout Germany, including the St. Blasien Jesuit school in the Black Forest and the Aloisius secondary school in Bonn.

Reports implicate at least 12 teachers or priests involved in the abuse, Raue said.

Story continues below…

Earlier in the week media reports said victim compensation could reach into the millions of euros.

Meanwhile prosecutors have said that the alleged abuse probably happened too long ago for criminal charges to be an option. Canisius school headmaster Mertes also acknowledged that the church may compensate victims.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:45 February 18, 2010 by twisted
It seems to me that after all of these reports of abuse in churches and catholic schools, the Vatican should realize that part of the problem is the chastity requirement on priests. I understand that not all of the abusers are priests and that child sexual abuse is not confined to the catholic church, but certainly the church should recognize there is a problem and allowing priests and nuns to have a normal life, including sexual activity, is the right thing to do.
20:07 February 18, 2010 by wxman
While I would agree that abuse is more prevelent in the Catholic school system than others, the fact that these incidents also occur in non-Catholic parochial schools as well as the public school systems indicates this problem exists across the spectrum. The fact that it is more prevelant in Catholic schools can be attributed to the celebacy rule only in so much that this system tends to attract those who whould abuse anyway and who are looking for a conducive environment in which to do so.
21:21 February 18, 2010 by SNAP-HQ
The gender of the supervisors is not relevant. What's relevant is the institutional culture and values. Anyone can conceal or ignore child sex crimes if he or she is caught up in a rigid, secretive, callous, allegedly-celibate church hierarchy.

-Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314 503 003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, SNAPnetwork.org
22:23 February 18, 2010 by Talonx
This has nothing to do with chastity vows. This has to do with sick people that live in fantasy worlds, sick irrational people that have no real teaching liscences and have never been vetted to interact with children, sick people that believe they know god or it's words. In any other context a priest, a pastor, a rabbi are considered insane, but for some reason we let them run around with our kids.

Moreanon, what crack do you smoke, this has nothing to do with homosexuality. This is pedophilia. Check out any freakin' dictionary and you'll find yourself corrected.
22:59 February 18, 2010 by moreanon

Preying on young men or boys shows a homosexual tendency. Don't try to generalize it, by pretending it's a child ilia.
05:37 February 19, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
Join the real world, please, moreanon. Pedophilia does not = homosexuality. Homosexuals are no more likely to abuse children than heterosexuals. You appear to have fallen prey to the inflammatory (and willfully incorrect/ignorant) rhetoric of the far-right in America.

The problem is that child sexual predators, given the opportunity, will find employment that gives them access to children. And when given access by the church, with no supervision, is like a gift from god to predators. The problem is the lack of oversight in the church and their indifference to what their officials are up to.

Any institution that cares for children must always be alert to the possibility that child sexual predators will want to work for them so as to gain access to children. To ignore this fact is to invite these scandals. Ignoring it has cost the church hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars in the US. Looks like it will start costing the church in Germany similar sums.

I say good riddance. If this leads to further deterioration of the influence of the catholic church in people's lives then these crimes will not have been for nothing.
20:44 February 20, 2010 by Talonx
moron, I'm sorry I meant moreanon, read a dictionary.

Additionally, I guess those female authority figures were showing a homosexual tendency preying on young boys? Not to mention the fact that alot of the catholic schools were this stuff went down are not gender-exclusive.
11:45 February 21, 2010 by michael4096
allowing priests and nuns to have a normal life
It is a problem for the church to even admit that there is such a thing as a normal life - animals have a normal life with sexual activity but humans …[/quote]I'm not convinced that its the problem, though a little more may improve the situation in germany. One can go too far and make working with children so difficult that only pedophiles consider it worth the effort - britain is moving that way.

The problem is that the children do not feel free to tell anybody because of this don't talk about sex stigma particularly prevalent in religious upbringings. Start teaching children reality and that this isn't normal and the problem goes away.
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