• Germany's news in English

Catholic Church launches child sex abuse probe

AFP · 25 Mar 2014, 08:35

Published: 25 Mar 2014 08:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The probe will be carried out by four research institutes, the German Bishops' Conference said, with the aim of shedding light on a scandal that has shaken the Church to its foundations.

The Conference's commissioner for investigating abuse cases, the bishop of the western city of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, said the study sought "clarity and transparency about this dark side of our Church".
He told reporters that the attempt to understand the prevalence of sexual abuse of youths by clergy was "for the sake of the victims but also in order to see the mistakes for ourselves and do everything we can to ensure they are not repeated."
The head of the research consortium, Harald Dressing, said the report would take three and a half years to complete and was budgeted at about €1 million.
He said the group aimed to learn whether "specific structures and dynamics" within the Church had fostered sexual abuse.
Dressing added that abuse victims would serve as advisors to the probe, from the development of the inquiry methods to the interpretation of the findings.
The researchers are primarily experts in psychology, criminology and sociology.
Since early 2010 and in common with other countries, Germany has been hit by revelations that hundreds of children were physically and sexually abused in Church institutions.
The Church announced in July 2011 it would open its archives, which date back to the end of World War II, on abuse claims.
But in January 2013, the Bishops' Conference said it had severed ties with criminologists commissioned to research sexual abuse by clergy in a row over the right to publish their findings.
Story continues below…
The Vatican announced Saturday that a victim of sexual abuse by priests would sit on a new commission created to root out paedophilia in the Church.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

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.

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