GERMANY’S Karl-Heinz Wiesemann, above, Bishop of Speyer, has revealed for the first time the details of an investigation of abuse carried out at a Catholic children’s home run by nuns who ‘earned money’ by procuring kids for paedophile priests, politicians and wealthy men.
The findings of the investigation, which had been kept under wraps since May, after they were allegedly suppressed, were addressed earlier this month by Wiesemann in an interview with Catholic magazine Der Pilger. He said that “several” abuse allegations had been filed, and revealed that the principle abuser was a now-dead vicar named Rudolf Motzenbäcker.
Deutsche Welle (DW) reports that the latest scandal came to light after one victim, Karl Haucke, 63, filed a case to claim compensation from the Catholic church after suffering ten years of abuse at a home run by Order of Women of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer (Niederbronn Sisters).
Protestant news agency EPD and Catholic news agency KNA acquired copies of the court’s decision, which detailed claims of horrific abuse that children suffered at the hands of clergy members in the 1960s and 1970s.
Nuns were key in aiding the abuse, regularly bringing boys and girls to predatory priests and even receiving money to do so, Haucke, above, testified in court.
During the ten years that he lived in the children’s home, nuns would allegedly take him to the priest’s apartment once or twice a month and that they “downright dragged” him there.
Haucke estimated he’d been assaulted around 1,000 times.
Motzenbäcker was also alleged to have organised so-called “sex parties” that took place every three or four months that included several male clergy members and politicians.
Nuns would allegedly bring boys and girls to these gatherings, serving drinks and food to the men in one corner of the room while children were assaulted nearby.
Haucke said in evidence:
The nuns earned money from it. The men who were present would have donated generously.
Haucke suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the ordeal. He said that many of the children who were involved at the time are dead now, many of whom died by suicide. He, himself, had attempted suicide.
The court and the experts who interviewed Haucke said they had no doubt about his credibility.
Other victims have separately come forward with their own allegations of abuse, the diocese of Speyer said, providing similar stories of abuse – particularly involving Motzenbäcker.
Bishop Wiesemann said that the archdiocese agrees with the court that the man suffered sexual abuse during his time in the church-run home. He said the church has been passing information to prosecutors and encouraged other victims to come forward.
The New York Post adds that Haucke, a former altar boy, was awarded a total of 25,000 euros for the abuse he suffered.
Sometimes I would run back to the home in blood-smeared clothes, the blood ran down my legs. Before I left in September 1972, I had been sexually abused about a thousand times. But what’s the use of the money? My marriage is broken. My bones, liver and kidneys are too.
DE25 News published more lurid details of the abuse, reporting that the victim was brought at the age of five, in September 1963, to the Catholic children’s home which was closed down in 2000.
The abuse began “systematically” during his time as an altar boy after his “forced baptism”. He was assigned to a priest who was also his confessor, so the “circle was always kept closed”.
Motzenbäcker abused him alone and with other people at “sex parties” and repeatedly took him to his apartment. He was once abused by three priests together. The nuns “literally dragged him there”.
At one of the parties he met a girl, who, at the age of twelve this became pregnant. He tried to help her and went with her to the police and other authorities., but they were accused of lying.
One day the girl disappeared. He found her hanging in the attic. However, he does not believe in suicide. He suspects that the girl knew too much – including the name of the man who made her pregnant.
While the court accepted most of Haucke’s testimony, it did not give credence to his allegation that the girl was murdered.
In November, DW reported that, two years previously, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, above, the Archbishop of Cologne, promised an independent and comprehensive investigation into sexual abuse in his diocese, which operated the home. But the investigation failed to publish anything, and Woelki and his archdiocese withheld the information it turned up.
Then, at an extraordinary meeting in October 2020, church investigators told furious victims that evidence submitted was not “legally watertight” and contained “inadmissible prejudices.”