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Catholic church wants to pay abuse victims on case-by-case basis

The Local · 25 Sep 2010, 14:17

Published: 25 Sep 2010 14:17 GMT+02:00

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German bishops will bring this suggestion to the round-table talks on child sexual abuse set to start on Thursday, according to a report in Der Spiegel on Saturday.

A spokesman for the Bishop’s Conference said the compensation should be “appropriate to the severity of the act, and helpful to the victims.”

Similar cases which have been decided by German courts have resulted in compensation payments of between €5,000 and €10,000 – well short of the €82,373 general payment per head called for by victims’ representatives.

Costs for therapy and other necessary help would also largely be paid for by the Church though, said the bishops.

Even if the first payments were to be made this year, Christine Bergmann, the government-appointed independent commissioner for the matter, said the Church was being slow in acting.

“Those concerned want the perpetrators or the institutions take on responsibility,” she said.

“Most of those who contact us want financial compensation because they have often been unable to establish themselves professionally due to the abuse – or have been financially burdened by sometimes very lengthy therapy.”

Story continues below…

Matthias Katsch, spokesman for the victims, said he wanted to see no bureaucratic acknowledgement process – and insisted that payments should not come with the condition of a victim agreeing not to sue.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:51 September 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Actually, the Church doesn't want to pay at all. The attempt to segregate the complaints is one of the oldest tricks in the book, as it would force each individual victim to bring a separate claim that would further humiliate the victim and delay the compensation process indefinitely. Then, should the victims opt to sue, each case would have to be brought separately and would clog the courts to a standstill. As for Mr. Katsch's insistence that the payments not be conditioned on the victim's signing a covenant not to sue, he's dreaming. The Church has never settled such claims without such a covenant, or without a nondisclosure agreement that binds the victim to silence under penalty of liquidated damages. These nondisclosure agreements are also sealed and not made available to the public or the press.
15:11 September 25, 2010 by Deutschguy
I hope their attorney figures out a way to sue these bast**** in a US court, and finagle an opening of the Vatican bank accounts.

5,000 or 10,000 Euros is peanuts, and the plaintiffs shouldn't accept it. Sell some of that 'priceless' Vatican art to get at the funds.

Those who were abused deserve as much as their attorneys can get for them.
15:32 September 25, 2010 by blufx1963
I suppose with the massive amount of abuse cases, paying more would bankrupt the church. Pretty sad, if you think about it. Especially, given the fact they got away with this, so long too. Who's going to pay for all this suffering, and shame? I say sell vatican city to pay for it...
16:52 September 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Deutschguy --

Unfortunately the US courts don't have jurisdiction.

Moreover, the similar actions brought in the US, the statute of limitations is significantly shorter, thus barring more victims from the courthouse. In Michigan, for example, it is only one years after the victim reaches the age of 18. Attempts to lengthen it have been met with fierce lobbying opposition from the Church.

A proposal I have advanced in the US, and which some victims' rights attorneys are seriously considering, would be to sue the Church in federal court under the racketeering statutes. The pattern of these crimes fits squarely within the requirements of RICO.
01:31 September 26, 2010 by freechoice
This is disgusting! How can they use money to solve this problem? Who do they think the victims are?

They should ask the victims and God for forgiveness instead!
09:24 September 26, 2010 by Prufrock2010
And while they're asking the victims for forgiveness, they should compensate them for their victimization. And I don't mean token compensation. The victims' pain and suffering can't be quantified in money, but the payment of substantial monetary damages is the only way the Church might begin to clean up its act, though I strongly doubt that the Church will ever really change. Certainly not with this particular pope on the throne.
11:30 September 26, 2010 by hOU
Power, corruption, lies. Nothing new.

Break this revolting institution! Opt out of church now! ***k the Pope where it'll hurt most!

Scum in frocks.
14:42 September 26, 2010 by domiDDD
Compansating the victems should come second to putting all those bastards who are being protected by the church in prison where they belong.

Do I believe in God? Yes

Do I or would I ever support a church? Not in your fuckin lifetime.
07:38 September 27, 2010 by freechoice
Why didn't these perverts didn't show up when Interpol was conducting this paedophiles sting operations around the world?
11:46 September 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Because the Church goes to extraordinary lengths to protect them from civil authorities. The Church takes the position that these monsters are subject only to Canon law, not civil law. That's why the Church itself must be held accountable for the criminal actions of its clerics.
13:01 September 27, 2010 by vjtheking
'Case-by-case basis' - what's that??? We'll take a 2nd opinion on you and if satisfied (in all senses of the word), we'll give you some cash???

Hey, where have those chronic Islam-bashers disappeared? Not making any comparisons between the Church & Islam for once??
00:46 September 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
They're on another thread about immigration. They wouldn't touch this issue with a barge pole.
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