Bleak picture of Catholic abuse revealed in new German probe

Bleak picture of Catholic abuse revealed in new German probe September 12, 2018

A sexual abuse commission funded by the German Bishops’ Conference found that 3,677 mostly male minors had been sexually abused by 1,670 priests between 1946 and 2014.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, above, had intended to make public the results of an independent research team’s probe on September 25, but, according to this report, two major German major media outlets – Der Spiegel and Die Zeit – jumped the gun and today (Wednesday) leaked the findings.
Following the same pattern observed in other countries – most recently in America where a grand jury report was published in Pennsylvania – the Catholic Church in Germany transferred abusing priests to other parishes – and only a third of them were ever investigated by the church.
More than half of the victims were, at the most, 13 years old, reported Walter Mayr for Der Spiegel. He also pointed out, quoting from an executive summary of the official report that is to be presented by Cardinal Marx, that in many cases the archives and files concerning the accused clergymen have been “destroyed or manipulated.”
Die Zeit commented:

For the first time, the Catholic Church admits what she has covered up for years and then played down.

But the given numbers of abuse cases in the report, according to journalist Evelyn Finger, above, is the lowest possible number.

That is to say, behind the most important numbers which have been listed here, there stands the invisible ‘at least’. The truth is much worse.

There is strong evidence that the church took part in the probe on its own terms and may have pulled the wool over the eyes of researchers. The research team stated:

The study project did not have access to the original files of the Catholic Church. All archives and files of the dioceses had been investigated only by diocesan personnel or by law firms hired by the dioceses.

Finger pointed out:

None of the scientists ever had in their hands files from the Church’s archives. That is why this study is not really independent. The institution that had to be investigated controlled the investigation.

Finger makes it clear that the Church, if it took actional at all against abusing priests:

Chose rather soft punishments such as early retirement, interdiction to celebrate Mass, therapy, leave of absence, reprimand, low fees, or just simply retreats.

These punishments, Finger comments, were “less than fitting”. In only about seven percent of the cases did the bishops call  upon the state to investigate the committed crimes.
The journalist also reported that “up to 8% of the whole clergy” was found to be abusers.

The majority of the abusers did not show signs of repentance.

The research team – a secular group of scientists – makes some general recommendations at the end of their report. “Strict sexual morality” and “obligatory celibacy” are seen as problems. Clericalism is also mentioned, and:

The rejection of the ordination of homosexual men should urgently be reconsidered.

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  • Cali Ron

    SHOCKED? Hardly. The revelations of clerical abuse continue, yet the sheep still dutifully follow the shepherd to be fleeced and their Children abused by that shepherd. There is only one cure for clerical abuse, but personal freedom is more important than banning the clergy.
    If only…

  • AgentCormac

    Just like the RCC he refuses to investigate the undeniable crimes which have been committed by his own inner circle; he lies – constantly, outrageously and shamelessly; despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, he insists that his supporters deny what their own faculties tell them and listen only to what he says is the truth; and he insists they put their faith in a tyrant, a fabulist, a conman and a snake-oil salesman who’s only ambition is personal power and enrichment.
    Want me to STFU again, Stonyground?

  • 1859

    8% of whole clergy were abusers? This means (if this is the figure 1670 priests) that there are 20,875 priests in Germany! Shit that’s a lot of potential abusers out there. This sexual abuse scandal is like a cancer eating away at the heart of the RCC – and long may it continue until it rots away into history. Disgusting organisation.

  • barriejohn

    The Vatican stirs:
    After three decades of denial, the Vatican is being forced to treat the sex abuse problem as a global crisis, and not the failing of a particular country or culture.
    Did they run that by Bill Donohue? Doesn’t His Holiness read Donohue’s blog? I’m confused.

  • Cali Ron

    barriejohn : I suspect Bill “I’m Holier-than-thou” Donohue thinks he’s the pope of America in his own little tiny brain.
    1859: According to the article the actual number is higher, although that wouldn’t increase the total it means there’s 2,000, 3,000 or more of the sick bastards there. Pathetic that the church with all it’s high minded morality can accept such a heinous crime within their own ranks,even hiding it and excusing it. Makes me sick to my stomach and pissed off.

  • Broga

    I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said many times. But when will people stay away from this criminal outfit? How many warnings, so explicit, does it take?
    Frankie has now ordered an enquiry into financial rip offs in the Vatican.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    How many more instances of criminal behaviour have to be uncovered before action is taken against this criminal outfit?

  • Stonyground

    STFU? OK don’t, I don’t care. I think that you might have a slightly unhealthy obsession though. Also, no it is not relevant.

  • AgentCormac

    @ Stonyground
    As a Trump apologist I’m sure you’re right – you don’t care about much at all (you know: facts, proof, reality, human suffering – that kind of thing). And quite frankly, if you think that worrying about the world this ludicrous moron is creating is ‘unhealthy’, then I’ll happily accept that epithet. I really am happy to concede that I’m somewhat obsessive about pushing back against tyrants.
    And was what I posted relevant? I’d like to think so, in a tenuous kind of way which hopefully brings into sharp relief the contradiction between your alleged views on religion and your overt views on politics.
    So, yeah – go ahead and don’t care. I’m proud to say that unlike yourself, I do.

  • StephenJP

    @AC, of course you’re right about Trump; but the fact is that his bedrock support is over 30% of the US electorate. He is not so much a cause of the evils you identify as a symptom. I find this much more scary than just thinking that he is personally to blame for it all.
    The most bizarre twist in the RCC abuse saga is Papa Frankie blaming the Devil for the revelations about child sexual abuse in the church: Not for the crimes themselves, note, but for putting them into the public domain! And people still talk about Frankie as if he was seriously interested in reforming the organisation to which he owes his entire existence!