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Catholics toughen rules on sex abuse prevention

AFP · 31 Aug 2010, 16:25

Published: 31 Aug 2010 16:25 GMT+02:00

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"The dreadful findings and experiences of recent months have shown us that the (previous) guidelines of 2002 were imprecise in some areas," said Stephan Ackermann, bishop of Trier, as he presented the new rules.

"It was important for us bishops to make sure that ... the new guidelines prevent cases of sexual abuse being covered up," Ackermann, who was tapped by the German Episcopal Conference to draw up the new code, told reporters.

In future, allegations of abuse would be reported to the police more quickly, while new rules will ensure that people who have abused children are under no circumstances given jobs working with young people, Ackermann said.

"We also want to make sure that as many victims as possible ... have the courage to come forward," Ackermann said in Trier, western Germany.

Like elsewhere in Europe, Germany was hit earlier this year by revelations that hundreds of children were physically or sexually abused in institutions throughout the country, all but a handful run by the Roman Catholic Church.

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The abuse mostly took place several decades ago but the scandal has still done much to damage the standing of the Church five years after the appointment of the German-born Benedict XVI as pope was a source of great national pride.

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Your comments about this article

18:02 August 31, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Why don't they all just tie a knot in it and then maybe they can be trusted around children again. Seriously. In ancient times, weren't a lot of priests made Eunuchs of?
17:04 September 2, 2010 by Prufrock2010
MAM --

"To hell with the victims" is precisely the Church's posture. It always has been and always will be.

On August 29, 2010 the New York Times reported the lurid details of how Cardinal Godfried Danneels, former archbishop of Brussels, pressed an abuse victim to remain silent about his abuser, who happened to be the victim's own uncle and a Catholic bishop.

Today, CNN reports that the Irish Cardinal who covered up abuse and required victims to sign confidentiality agreements has no intention of resigning. Apparently he doesn't think he did anything wrong.

Nothing's going to change from within the Catholic Church. Any change will have to come from the outside, as when these pedophiles and their enablers start going to prison en masse (no pun intended).
15:56 September 25, 2010 by blufx1963
Common sense should have prevailed here. If a member of the church was found abusing a worshiper. That member should have been turned over to the local authorities, and populace for prosecution. That member upon succesful prosecution, had been ex-communicated from the church. Forever dis-associated from title and privilages from the church.

What is this I here in this article, about not putting the member in contact with young people? (in a future job position) Are they serious? If I had a member in my church who had been accused of harming/abusing a young person.

This person would be lucky to escape with his life in my presence. Much less get another job in the church. Ridiculous! That member needs to go pound the pavement, and see if anybody would hire a pedophile, if said member was lucky to escape prison. And, that shouldn't happen either.
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