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Report finds 196 clerics abused minors in German diocese

BERLIN (AP) — A report launched Monday discovered that at the least 196 clerics within the German Catholic diocese of Muenster sexually abused minors between 1945 and 2020, including to findings from different dioceses which have shaken the church within the nation.

The research, commissioned by the diocese in western Germany and carried out over 2 1/2 years by a crew from the College of Muenster, pointed to a “huge management failure” in the course of the tenures of the diocese’s bishops between 1947 and 2008, with officers masking up scandals or making solely superficial interventions, in keeping with an announcement from the college summarizing the findings.

“The bishops and different officers within the diocesan management had been in some instances extensively within the know” in regards to the abuse, co-author Thomas Grossboelting mentioned.

The 196 allegedly abusive clerics account for about 4% of all monks within the diocese between 1945 and 2020. About 5% of these had been “serial” abusers, chargeable for greater than 10 acts every, the authors discovered. They mentioned there have been at the least 610 victims, however the true determine is probably going eight to 10 occasions greater.

Many of the monks suspected of abuse had been merely moved moderately than having their pastoral duties curtailed, the research discovered.

The researchers mentioned they had been granted unhindered entry to church information and spoke with quite a few victims.

Muenster Bishop Felix Genn, who mentioned he hasn’t but seen the research and plans to reply on Friday, apologized in an announcement to victims of abuse and of cover-ups by church officers. However he acknowledged that an apology “just isn’t sufficient” and vowed “additional penalties” in coping with abuse.

In 2018, a church-commissioned report concluded that at the least 3,677 individuals had been abused by clergy in Germany between 1946 and 2014. Greater than half of the victims had been 13 or youthful, and almost a 3rd served as altar boys.

The research in Muenster is one in every of a number of since then which have delved into a long time of abuse in particular person dioceses, their findings including to strain for church reform.

In January, a report commissioned by the Munich archdiocese faulted the dealing with of abuse instances there by a string of church officers previous and current — together with retired Pope Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982.


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