A leaked report notes that the German Catholic Church establishment tried to cover up the child abuse allegedly committed by 1,670 clergymen.
The report, leaked by the German media outlets Der Spiegel and Die Zeit on Sept. 12, alleges that the church covered up 3,677 cases of sexual abuse from 2014 and stretching back all the way to 1946.
According to CNSNews:
Most of the victims were younger than 14 years old. Most were boys.
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In many cases, according to Der Spiegel reporter Walter Mayr, “the accused clergymen were moved to another location, without the new parish being given ‘the pertinent information’ about the abuser.”
Out of the 1,670 alleged abusers, the Church only laicized 41 priests and excommunicated 81, and only placed drastic sanctions on 7.8% of the abusers, according to LifeSiteNews.
As LifeSiteNews wrote, “The report shows that many abusing priests were simply transferred to other parishes and that only one-third of them were ever investigated by the Church.”
According to Die Zeit reporter Evelyn Finger, the Church’s chosen punishments were “less than fitting.”
Finger said that the Church “chose rather soft punishments such as early retirement, interdiction to celebrate Mass, therapy, leave of absence, reprimand, low fees, or just simply retreats.”
The German media also noted that the majority of abusive Church officials showed “no signs of repentance.”
In fact, the report claimed that up to eight percent of the clergy was found to be abusers.
The research team claimed to have investigated 38,000 members of church hierarchy.
Worse, according to LifeSite News, the German bishops sought to gain the right to forbid the release of the report and asked the German government to prevent the publication of the report.
Still, the German Church released an apology on September 25:
“Those who are guilty must be punished,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, said at a news conference to launch the report in the city of Fulda.
“For too long in the church we have looked away, denied, covered up and didn’t want it to be true,” he added.
“All this must not remain without consequences. Those affected are entitled to justice,” Marx said, without specifying what consequences perpetrators might face.
“For all the failure, pain and suffering, I must apologize as the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference as well as personally,” he said.
“The study .. makes it clear to us that the Catholic Church has by no means overcome the issue of dealing with the sexual abuse of minors.”
The report, though is sure to continue to create questions.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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