• Germany's news in English

Study uncovers 205 cases of Jesuit abuse

AFP · 27 May 2010, 19:46

Published: 27 May 2010 19:46 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

About 46 Jesuit priests, lay teachers and other educators are suspected of being responsible for the abuse, lawyer Ursula Raue told a press conference in Munich after looking into the cases at the Jesuit order's request.

Twelve priests, of which six are now dead, and two laymen were singled out by more than one victim or witness for acts of sexual abuse, violence or both, Raue said. The other 32 "suspects" were each accused by only one person.

The lawyer added that she learned about some 50 other cases of mistreatment at non-Jesuit Catholic institutions during her investigation.

Nearly all of the cases occurred too long ago to be pursued before the courts, Raue said, adding that the statute of limitations, which currently runs from 10 to 20 years depending on the crime, should be reconsidered.

She also sharply criticised the Jesuit order, stating that in numerous cases authorities in charge of an institution were aware that abuse was going on but did nothing about it.

Story continues below…

In common with other European countries, Germany has been rocked in recent months by revelations that children were physically or sexually abused in religious institutions, the vast majority run by the Roman Catholic Church.

The scandal has badly damaged the standing of the Church in Germany, and also of the German-born Pope Benedict XVI, five years after his appointment as leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics was a source of great national pride.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

23:59 May 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
What a surprise!
10:00 May 28, 2010 by acewaseem
205 cases out of 206 studied....
11:47 May 28, 2010 by whatzup
This scandal marks the final turning point of the Church's influence in europe. The rise of imported cheap labor foretold the end of Christian europe.
15:49 May 28, 2010 by wubba
I would be more interested in how many were sexually abused as opposed to how many were physically and/or sexually abused. The reason I say this is that many parents sent their children to Catholic schools with the complete knowledge there would be corporal punishment. The severity of corporal punishment is also in question. It could range from hitting a child's hand with a ruler, slapping, to punching. Note: I am not advocating these actions but when an institution is chosen for specific disciplinary methods (that it is known for), calling those methods out seems to be superfluous. I could be wrong.

Regardless, how many were sexually abused as opposed to just physically? I find the former to be infinitely worse than the latter given my statements above. It seems the headline is a product of spin generation. It could be 204 cases of physical abuse and 1 case of sexual abuse, or completely the reverse. But lumping two categories together seems like it was done in order to associate a staggering number with an even more stagging accusation.

I'm also interested in this: "The other 32 "suspects" were each accused by only one person." And what this exception to the general rule means.

I know I will get flamed for being an apologist, and I may be. I am more interested in the truth, and the removal of inaccurate or spinned information.
17:49 May 28, 2010 by michael4096

I'm not a flamin'. But, I'll challenge a couple of things..

. If a parent sent a child to known drugs gang to train him for a career in drugs' running, does that mean the gang's drugs' antics are "superfluous"?

. Why is sexual abuse infinitely worse than the physical variety? Surely, the degree of badness depends on the reaction of the victim! All you are saying is that you would find sexual abuse infinitely worse - I hope and assume you are guessing.

. The 32 accused by only one person? That is a good question, but lets put it another way: there isn't much chance that one or more of these accusers haven't had there life ruined by an avoidable event.
17:57 May 28, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
I hate what the Catholic Church has done to the credibility of Christianity! And from what I see by the people I meet and know, it is quite evident... Leider!
20:30 May 28, 2010 by wubba

You make some good points, and I should clarify.

What I meant by "superfluous" was that everyone already knew that there was corporal punishment in many Catholic Educational Institutions. It's now suddenly a big deal since it has been posted in headlines. This by no means implies the actions taken by corporal punishment were correct. In your example it would be the equivalent of someone telling the parents that they are sending their kids to a drug gang.

Second, this is a good point. Let me be clear that both acts are immoral, however if you take the average case of sexual abuse (for the sake of argument lets set the range of grievance from groping to sodomy) and you take the average case of physical abuse (slap on the wrist to horrible beatings) and excluding a combination I personally would rather be physically abused (note I speak for myself, and this is my opinion). However, if you take into account the actual extremes, then yes there are cases that sexual abuse (groping) would be much worse than physical abuse (aggravated assault). Both are horrible, no doubt.

The reason I make that statement is because in my opinion the emotional and physical scars of being physically abused are easier to overcome than the physical and emotion scars of being sexually abused. I believe that the mental stigma's associated with sexual acts are immensely more difficult to overcome. This is more or less speculation on my part and based on my own experience and knowledge. I could be completely incorrect.

Lastly, you are correct, but I fail to see how I contradicted that argument (even though I had to read it 3-4 times to truly understand what you were saying, a semantic matter only)
13:26 May 31, 2010 by William Thirteen
so sad when so many Jesuits are abused!
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd