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Child abuse scandal spreads to Catholic dorm

AFP/The Local · 10 Mar 2010, 15:14

Published: 10 Mar 2010 15:14 GMT+01:00

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The Diocese of Mainz said it had preliminary indications that two people abused pupils boarding at the Bensheim Konvikt in the 1970s. State prosecutors have been informed, a statement said.

The director of the dormitory, where children attending a nearby secondary school boarded, was also implicated in sexual abuse allegations, it said. He "left the service of the diocese" in 1979 before the convent closed for "economic and educational" reasons.

The scandal erupted in January when an elite Jesuit school in Berlin admitted systematic sexual abuse of pupils by two priests in the 1970s and 1980s, and has now engulfed 19 of Germany's 27 dioceses.

Also implicated is a boarding school attached to the Domspatzen ("Cathedral Sparrows"), Regensburg cathedral's 1,000-year-old choir. The choir was run for

29 years by Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI.

Most of the priests concerned are not expected to face criminal charges because the alleged crimes took place too long ago, but there have been growing calls for a change in the law and for the Church to pay compensation.

The German scandal is one of several to have rocked the Catholic Church in recent years, notably in Ireland where one priest admitted sexually abusing more than 100 children, and this week in Austria and the Netherlands.

Story continues below…

Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican, said Tuesday that German, Austrian and Dutch Church leaders had acted "rapidly and decisively," stressing that sexual abuse went far beyond church walls.

The chairman of the German Bishops Conference, Robert Zollitsch, was to meet the pope on Friday at the Vatican to discuss the cases.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:13 March 10, 2010 by Bushdiver
Can't trust those Catholics!
16:27 March 10, 2010 by scandophile71
The Catholic church has many beautiful traditions and a rich theological history, it's a shame its being rocked to the ground by child abuse scandals. If they would allow married priests I think they'd have a better pool of clergy and fewer problems such as these.
16:27 March 10, 2010 by fritzwiz
A friend of mine now thinks he is ugly because he said, "I had sixteen years of Catholic education and was never approached for sex by a priest." He may need therapy.

17:49 March 10, 2010 by berlinski
Good to know the church tax is being put to good use. Compensation funds for this sort of behaviour. It means the church can continue providing these perverts with a steady supply of innocents to abuse. Glad I opted out of that bullshit church tax.
20:12 March 10, 2010 by whatzup
I dunno, I spent lots of time as a kid with the Jesuits and I never experienced or heard about these sorts of problems. Society still needs folks who pretend to believe in God to do some of the charitable work. When you do that sort of thing as a professional its not quite the same. Perhaps after all is said and done there is a net benefit to having the church around if only to keep other more intrinsically vicious organizations at bay.
22:33 March 10, 2010 by dbert4
The moderator much be Catholic or maybe a priest, I called the Catholic Church corrupt and they deleted my post. Bet that wouldn't have happened if I was an alter boy!
07:49 March 11, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
"The Catholic church has many beautiful traditions and a rich theological history, it's a shame its being rocked to the ground by child abuse scandals."

What the h*ll are you talk about, scandophile71?

The catholic church has a long history of dealing rather harshly with "heretics," not to mention it's long history of what today is called "state-sponsored terrorism" and wars. The pope "gave" big chunks of the "new world" to Spain, Portugal, etc. They sold indulgences, tickets to heaven basically.

The church's long history of repression, torture and corruption along with some of those beautiful traditions and rich theological history.
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