The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference has been greatly affected by the extent of the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx calls for a new start in the Catholic Church.
"It is still shocking what has happened to children and young people who have entrusted priests, through this unimaginable suffering," said the Munich archbishop on Sunday in a church service in Vallendar near Koblenz in Rhineland-Palatinate. "That's why it takes a new departure in this church, towards those affected and God."
Sexual abuse, according to the cardinal, is "a wound, something that deeply depresses us and shakes us and frightens us, that in the midst of the church that has happened and is happening." Children and adolescents have become victims of those "who, as spiritual people, should open the way to Christ for them, sacrifices in which Christ meets us." He looks at us and he looks at his church, and he also suffers from what is in What happens and what we do, what we refrain from, what we overlook, what we do not accept. "
"We stand by the side of those affected"
He was "deeply depressed, shaken and ashamed" of the reality of sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church. "We stand by the side of the victims of sexual abuse", emphasized the cardinal. "That is our lasting commitment." The study helps to sharpen the view, said Marx. The Episcopal Conference will talk about this at their plenary assembly in Fulda and ask themselves, "what follows from it". The Episcopal Conference had commissioned the study.
Also the Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki has "deeply shocked" about the cases of abuse shown. "I am ashamed at this point for my church," the archbishop said on Sunday in the radio program "Word of the Bishop." Those who, as pastors and servants of God, made themselves guilty of people, had "perverted" their task.
According to the study, the structure of the Catholic Church is an important cause of their abuse scandal. According to zeit.de, the study states that clericalism is "an important cause and a specific structural feature" of sexual violence in the church. The priests therefore used the authority of their office for their deeds. According to the report, three-quarters of the victims of abuse were "in church or pastoral relationship" with the perpetrators. The abuse had been initiated in ministrant service, religious instruction, first communion or confirmation preparation, catechesis or general pastoral care. In the initiation, the priests had used psychological power.
The authors of the study commissioned by the church therefore warn against the negative consequences of ecclesiastical power, not only with perpetrators, but also with superiors. "In church leaders, an authoritarian-clerical understanding of the office can lead to a priest, who has practiced sexualized violence, more as a threat to their own clerical system is considered and not as a threat to other children or adolescents or other potential victims." Thus, the clerical Self-understanding of senior clergy that "the cover-up of the events and the protection of the system take precedence over the relentless disclosure of appropriate acts" win.
According to Spiegel and Zeit, the study concludes that between 1946 and 2014, a total of 3,677 mostly male minors were allegedly sexually abused by 1670 Catholic clerics. The Bishops' Conference intends to officially present the study on 25th September.
When praying does not help anymore
Germany's bishops do not want to enlighten, at least not relentlessly, as their now presented abuse study shows. The report fails to recognize the true extent of sexual violence in the Catholic Church.
By Matthias Drobinski