German Roman Catholics leaving church

This video from the USA is called German and Irish Churches Face Sexual Abuse Scandals.

Translated from the Focus site in Germany today:

Abuse scandal

Trust in the Catholic Church disappearing

New report after report of sexual misconduct by priests have made the confidence of Germans in the Catholic Church disappear massively. Distrust prevails now, as a FOCUS survey says.

More than half of Germans (56 percent) have no confidence in the Catholic Church. In a survey of FOCUS 18 percent of respondents said they trusted the church, which is currently being rocked by an abuse scandal. 26 percent were undecided. 26 percent of Catholics polled in the survey were thinking about resigning from their church. For the FOCUS survey the Zeppelin University and Münster Research questioned 613 representatively selected persons.

Approximately ten weeks after the first abuse cases in state and church schools became known, more and more new victims turned up. Also on the nature and extent of the acts, new details became known this weekend.

The lawyer hired by the Jesuits Ursula Raue said nationwide she now knows about 170 victims. Including 59 former students of the Berlin Canisius College, where in late January, the first suspected cases had been made public. She has also found out that nationwide in the 1950s and 1960s, there has been abuse by priests of the Jesuit order. Ms Raue did not say what the exact number of previously accused perpetrators was.

Also against the Hessian Odenwald school, this weekend new allegations have been made: according to the victims’ lawyer Thorsten Kahl, in the middle of this decade, there had been yet another case of humiliation. The victim had not gone public because of pressure by former classmates, said Kahl. The private boarding school announced on the occasion of its upcoming 100-year celebration, there would be a panel discussion with prominent ex-students, including Amelie Fried and Johannes von Dohnanyi, on the subject of abuse.

“Extreme attacks” at boarding school Birklehof

Former students of the well known boarding school in the Black Forest, Birklehof, have, according to a media report, also made more abuse accusations. At the boarding school in Hinterzarten there are said to have been sexual assaults. These crimes may be not time-barred yet, the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote. The public prosecution in Freiburg confirmed to the paper that this would be investigated. “It is said to have been extreme physical abuse and sexual assaults,” said a spokesman for the authorities to the newspaper. One of the accused is a doctor who had practiced regularly for almost 30 years at the school until2004.

Thomas Pfister, a mediator employed by the Upper Bavarian monastery Ettal, when interviewed by FOCUS, expressed shock about the accounts of former students. “There were reports about such perverse atrocities that I could not sleep at night,” said the lawyer. Among other things, the victims would have had to eat living salamanders. They also reported beatings with skiing poles, and such hard blows that they burst the boys’ eardrums. A now 74-year-old cleric had a reputation as an “uncontrolled thug.”

“For me, the issue of abuse is not new,” said Raue, who had been active for long time for the charity “Innocence in Danger“. “However, the current developments are beyond any ideas we had before it started.” The expert, however, thinks that it is good that the abuse issue has become so prominent now. “That was one of the last social taboo topics. That is now being talked about and that is perceived what injuries it can cause, I consider right and important.”

According to Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad, the head of the Salesian Roman Catholic order in the Netherlands says it is “stupid” that there was lack of openness about sexual abuse scandals involving the order.

Bishop ‘blames Jews’ for criticism of Catholic church record on abuse: here.

London buses to carry female ordination advert during pope’s visit: here.

Decades of Molestation Haunt Odenwaldschule: here.

2 thoughts on “German Roman Catholics leaving church

  1. (Reuters) – British author and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins will try to have Pope Benedict arrested to face questions over the Catholic church’s child abuse scandal when he visits Britain later this year, one of his lawyers said Sunday.

    Dawkins, a scientist and outspoken critic of religion, has asked human rights lawyers to examine whether charges could be brought against the pope.

    The four-day trip, from September 16 to 19, will be the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II’s pastoral visit in 1982 and is the first official papal visit to Britain.

    The Catholic church has rejected claims the pope helped to cover up abuse by priests and the Vatican has accused the media of waging a “despicable campaign of defamation” against him.


  2. Vatican posts new paedophile priest rules

    Benedict ‘will defrock directly’ in most serious cases

    12 April, 12:48

    ANSA) – Vatican City, April 12 – The Vatican on Monday posted new instructions on dealing with paedophile priests, making it mandatory for cases to be reported to the police.

    In the most serious cases, Pope Benedict XVI will defrock priests without going through a Church trial, the norms say.

    The Church has been rocked by widening scandals with the pope personally coming under fire for allegedly stalling, for the good of the Church when he was doctrinal watchdog, on a self-confessed US predator’s request to be defrocked in 1985.

    Oakland priest Father Steven Kiesle, who was convicted of tying up and molesting two boys in 1978, returned to Church work and was defrocked two years later in 1987.

    In 2004 he was convicted of a second offence and got six years in jail.

    The new rules have been operative since 2003 when the pope’s old department, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued them but did not make them known, the Vatican said.

    The Vatican’s move in posting the guidelines has been seen as a change in strategy as the abuse scandals have moved ever closer to Benedict, head of the Congregation from 1981 until his election in 2005.

    For weeks Church officials have claimed the allegations of cover-ups and inaction by Benedict’s former self Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger were a media campaign to smear him.

    In the 1990s, US reports have claimed, Ratzinger did not respond to Milwaukee bishops’ pleas to defrock a priest, Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused some 200 deaf boys between 1950 and 1974.

    The Vatican says the Congregation was only informed of the case a few months before Murphy died.

    In the mid-1980s, as archbishop of Munich, Ratzinger was allegedly aware that a paedophile priest had been moved back to Church work, although in that case his then No.2 took responsibility.


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