German Catholic Church: At least 600 youths in the German diocese of Muenster have been recorded as victims of abuse by Catholic priests, but the actual number of victims could be 10 times higher. . This was said in a report published on Monday.
According to the news agency AFP, the diocese has official records of 610 abuse victims, according to the report of the University of Muenster. This number is almost a third higher than the previous 2018 study indicated. However, the historian involved in the study, Natalie Povoroznik, said that “about 5,000 to 6,000 girls and boys” may have been victims in the province.1
What does the report say?
According to the report, at least 5,700 individual acts of sexual abuse were committed by 196 male members of the church’s clergy (183 of them clergy).
In this 5% of the members were found to be serial criminals with more than 10 victims. While less than 10 percent had to face any legal consequences.
The report said abuse peaked during the 1960s and 1970s, with an average of two cases per week in the province.
Three of the four victims were boys, most of whom were between the ages of 10 and 14.
The study reported considerable psychological consequences for victims reaching adulthood, including depression and suicidal thoughts, with 27 cases indicating a suicide attempt.
Bishop will comment in detail on Friday
Muenster Bishop Felix Jan is due to comment on the study in detail on Friday. The authors of the report have accused Jen, who has been Bishop of Muenster since 2009, of failing to take action against abusers.
In an initial response on Monday, Jen said she would “naturally accept responsibility for the mistakes I made myself in dealing with sexual abuse.”
The Catholic Church in Germany has been rocked in recent years by several reports that have exposed the widespread abuse of children by the clergy.