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Trust in Catholic Church plummets amid abuse scandal

DDP/The Local · 24 Mar 2010, 10:59

Published: 24 Mar 2010 10:59 GMT+01:00

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German-born Pope Benedict XVI has also suffered a crippling blow to his authority, with fewer than one in four people saying they trusted him personally, the poll published by Stern news magazine found.

Just 17 percent said they trusted the Church and 24 percent the Pope. That compares with 29 percent and 38 percent respectively in a similar poll taken at the end of January.

The poll taken by the Forsa surveying firm found that, even among Catholics, only a minority trusted either the Church or the Pope. Just 39 percent had confidence in the Pope, down from 62 percent at the end of January, while 34 percent trusted the Church, down from 56 percent.

Among non-denominational Germans, just 5 percent said they trusted the Church.

By comparison, the Protestant Church’s standing has barely been affected by the recent resignation of its leader Margot Käßmann, who was caught driving drunk. Some 42 percent of Germans said they had faith in Church compared with 44 percent at the end of January.

Among Protestants, trust was at 65 percent, actually a slight rise on the 64 percent registered six weeks ago.

The poll came as the Greens called the government’s planned “round table” on child sex abuse inadequate.

“With sex abuse cases, it’s about serious criminal acts, which aren’t in the least bit suited to a round table,” the party’s parliamentary leader Renate Künast told news magazine Der Spiegel.

In recent weeks, hundreds of alleged victims have come forward with claims of child abuse, predominantly in the Catholic Church but also in some other organisations.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was avoiding “a genuinely critical debate,” Künast said, adding that the round table was unlikely to come up with concrete proposals.

Story continues below…

The federal cabinet made arrangements Wednesday to establish the round table, with the committee holding its first meeting on April 23. It appointed former Social Democrats politician Christine Bergmann as an independent commissioner to head the roundtable.

Committee members will likely include Family Minister Kristina Schröder, representatives of the Education Ministry, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a well as abuse victims, experts and relevant associations.

But the Greens maintain that an independent commission of the German parliament is needed to overhaul the system of dealing with child sex abuse. This should include a compensation fund and money set aside for victims' therapy, Der Spiegel reported.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:07 March 24, 2010 by William Thirteen
still one in six eh? well i suppose a sucker is born every minute....no pun intended...
13:49 March 24, 2010 by dbert4
No Sheit! How did they get away with it this long..?
15:16 March 24, 2010 by dbert4
@Derekbeggs - No, this IS also about non-existant God's and an organized conpiracy which profits from people's fear of death. And in the Catholic Curches case, it's been going on for hundreds of years.

If the Catholic Church really believed there is a god, would they have engaged in and continue to engage in the scheit that they do?
20:21 March 24, 2010 by magdelana
Remove all those convicted of this abuse. Then let the new priests have marriage. Being denied marriage is depravation which causes perversion.
09:20 March 25, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
Not that it would ever happen but it sure would be nice if the German govt decided not to collect the catholic church's 10%. These clowns might be tempted to give up their kiddy-fiddling ways. But probably not. Them childrens is good eatin'.
13:58 March 25, 2010 by hanskarl

The Vatican is the real problem here. The term "Christian Church" is a generalization. Even in the US there are still serious problems being uncovered everyday. Here is one I came across in the Midwest involving a priest at a school for deaf boys.


17:54 March 26, 2010 by homeboy
How would you like to live in a gold encrusted city-state where grown men traipse around in dresses while muttering incoherently to an invisible father figure and blame all wrongdoing on a mythological beast that lives in the center of the earth?
19:43 March 26, 2010 by rosenthalenglish
Perhaps you will save some of your anger for the 60,000 -70,000 German children abused every year in their families!(Lead Editorial Allgäuer Zeitung 25th March 2010)I dont see any mention in the National Media in Germany or in the world media.Don't they care about 60-70,000 sexually abused children every year?Is it really only news if it involves the Catholic Church and happened over 50-60 years ago?
20:00 March 26, 2010 by Talonx
rosenthalenglish, the big deal is that when everyday folk abuse their children something can be done about it as soon as someone outside the family finds out, but when the Church is involved everything is mysteriously covered up and all ideals swept aside in order to protect the priests. There are intervention programs for families and protocols in place to identify such things, but when a priest does it nothing happens and such protocols are setup to help the priests and not the victims. Your living in a dream world if you think the Church has just up and stopped this sort of behavior.

In sum, the difference is not only in scope, but also malice, and the church seems to be far fuller of that when it comes to victims.
20:30 March 26, 2010 by rosenthalenglish
Talonx-Although there has been cover-ups which is very very upsetting there has also been deliberate mis-reporting of the situation.For instance the Times UK printed a story about abuse at the Vienna Boys Choir and printed a photo of the Popes brother to go with the story.As you are well aware the Vienna Boys Choir has nothing to do with any church!Also The New York Times has two days running tried to attack the Pope personally saying he knew everything.They claimed new info today.The story had no new information just speculative reporting which doesn't bring out the truth.Also the Church has never stopped the reporting of paedophiles to the relevant law enforcement.There was never any secret cover-up enforced.It was up to the local Bishop to report this if the information was not breaking the confesssional vow.Don't beleive all that the secular press tell you and then don't correct when fact proves them to be wrong.Abuse cover ups were wrong and the Pope has said so.No one has done more to stop this evil than he has.

I wouldn't trust all these protocols you talk about other wise the media would be regulaly telling us the figures-BUT THEY DON'T!So many thousands of children are suffering without any help.In the UK for instance the Catholic Church now has the stricted Child Protection measures of any orginisation,church or school.
23:20 March 26, 2010 by Deutschguy
rosenthalenglish: Give it up. The Catholic Church is guilty of covering this up. The proof and admission of guilt is already out there.

You keep posting defenses of Ratzinger. If he didn't follow up on protection of children, then he shouldn't be a bishop, a Pope, or any other kind of church official. He had knowledge of the criminal and the crime, and even of the victim, yet he didn't do his job.

You are simply repeating the Vatican's press releases as truth. The picture of Ratzinger's brother had nothing to do with Vienna Boys Choir, but the documented abuse and beatings at the Regensburger Domspatzen Choir. George Ratzinger has admitted slapping children in the face. He ignored the abuse that went on while he was the director.

I think you're just blindly defending it because you are some loyalist Bavarian Catholic who can't admit the truth.
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