There were 3,677 documented cases of sexual abuse within the German Catholic Church between 1946 and 2014, national media sources have reported.
Die Zeit and Spiegel Online obtained a report commissioned by the German Bishops Conference, which also found that more than half of the victims were younger than 13. Nearly 1,000 were altar boys.
Experts from universities in Giessen, Heidelberg and Mannheim, who compiled the report, said there are likely to be many more victims who have not been documented.
Researchers were not allowed to look at the original church files and obtained the information after providing questionnaires to 27 dioceses, Spiegel Online reported. They examined more than 38,000 files and discovered that 1,670 different clerics were accused of abuse.
Half of all cases only came to light following requests for compensation, the report said. It added there is no reason to believe that the sectual abuse is not still ongoing.
The report stated that priests who had been accused were often transferred to another community that had not been given “appropriate information” about the abuser. Also, only one-third of the perpetrators underwent canon law procedure, after which there was often minimal, or no, punishment.The authors of the study did not specify reasons for the abuse, but did say that the Church’s demand for celibacy was a “potential risk factor,” Spiegel reported.
The German Bishops Conference said it was preparing a response ahead of the release of the report on September 25.
These are just the latest revelations of sectual abuse in the Catholic Church.
The head of a Jesuit school in Berlin said in 2010 there had been a decades-long pattern sectual abuse of high school students by German clergy.
This week, the Vatican said that it would respond to claims by an Italian archbishop who accused Pope Francis of covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s sectual abuse of priests and seminarians.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Vatican ambassador to Washington, has called for the resignation of the pontiff.
Meanwhile, an investigation in the U.S. last month found rampant sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by about 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.
The group BishopAccountability said that the church has paid out nearly $4 billion in lawsuits over allegations of clerical sectual abuse leading back to the 1980s.
The largest payout was $600 million in 2007, resulting from 221 priests and other church employees accused of abusing and victimizing over 500 people, CNN reported.
3,677 Abuse Cases among German Catholic Priests.Snakes Exposed in Judgement Hour.Generation of Vipers
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matt 12:34-37
Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the word of truth. The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days. GC 488
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