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Merkel: paedophilia not just a Church problem

AFP/The Local · 17 Mar 2010, 11:19

Published: 17 Mar 2010 11:19 GMT+01:00

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"It makes no sense, even if the first cases (of abuse) are in the Catholic Church, to focus on one group. This is something that has happened in many areas of society," Merkel said in a speech to parliament.

"And first and foremost it is also something that is still happening to this day, in part in different forms but with the same consequences."

She said no-one should attempt to over-simplify a difficult matters testing all of society.

The German Catholic Church has been thrown into crisis in recent weeks as hundreds of people have come forward alleging they were abused as minors by priests between the 1950s and 1980s.

Accusations of abuse have now been made in around two-thirds of Germany's 27 dioceses in recent weeks including in Munich and Freising, where Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was archbishop from 1977 to 1982.

Church officials suspended the priest named as Peter H. on Monday amid revelations he was still working with children 25 years after he was convicted of sexual abuse.

Another priest who had the job of overseeing the convicted paedophile resigned in response to the latest information was made public.

Story continues below…

Priest Peter H. had violated the conditions of his employment by continuing to have contact with children and youths and had therefore been suspended from his duties “with immediate effect,” said Bernhard Kellner, spokesman for the diocese of Munich and Freising on Monday.

Peter H. was accused of sexually abusing boys in the Diocese of Essen in 1980, including forcing an 11-year-old to perform oral sex. Pope Benedict XVI, who was then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger of Munich and Freising, approved Peter H.’s transfer to Munich for therapy.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:49 March 17, 2010 by chic-a-go
How many pedophiles have organizational backing to help them cover it up? That's the issue, and it makes perfect sense to look at the behavior of the organization.
13:50 March 17, 2010 by dbert4
She's right, it isn't SOLELY a Catholic Church problem. Just mostly.
14:28 March 17, 2010 by romber58
I would like someone to tell me who said or implied that the only paedos were in the catholic church.As far as i know nobody has said that.

The fact is though that if you set yourself up on a pedestal as a moral authority and then are exposed as hypocrites then you get what you deserve.
14:53 March 17, 2010 by Portnoy
Angela Merkel: Missing the point since 1954.
15:42 March 17, 2010 by romber58
Or should that be Paedestal?
16:20 March 17, 2010 by steve_glienicke
I remember in a servey carried out by a major TV network in the uk about 2 or 3 years ago, it was found that since the end of WW2 75% of convicted paedo's had links to the church, think thats enough said Mrs merkel
19:04 March 17, 2010 by michael4096
Maybe Frau M. is performing her usual high-wire act and getting ready for some initiative that will be considered church bashing when it is announced.

I hope.
02:38 March 18, 2010 by Talonx
Michael4096, tax the Church, like any other business?!?!
03:16 March 18, 2010 by hanskarl
@ romber58 you are on target.

From an earlier quote: "It plagues not only the RC Church but society in general. Regardless, the Roman Catholic church as other religious institutions claims to be the higher authority and the "spiritual leaders." They all must be held to a higher standard ..."

Frau Merkel is somewhat late in her appraisal..............like really late. She has the ear of the major news outlets at her call and therefore she has the ability to make statements on a moments notice. No doubt they have been begging her for a response. Why she throws herself into this debacle at such a late time is somewhat mystifying but of little consequence.

The Catholic Church is one of the two state churches so one can understand why she is attempting to minimize the situation.
13:59 March 18, 2010 by gair
What do you give a paedophile who has everything?

A bigger parish.
15:33 March 19, 2010 by dbert4
"tax the Church, like any other business?!?! "

Better, how about legally charging them with conspiracy and racketeering? Jail and liquidate! And I don't mean just the Catholics.....several others come to mind as well.
17:53 March 19, 2010 by mikekoi
The Church has been historically wrong in the way it has dealt with paedophiles. All paedophiles, clergy or not should be instantly removed from any position of trust, defrocked and handed to the civil authorities for the administration of justice/treatment in all ways treated exactly the same as any other paedophile.
09:26 March 20, 2010 by Talonx
dbert4, I just don't see why they should be treated like non-profits when they act like businesses.
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