News

Catholic Church in Germany kills cooperation with clerical abuse investigators

A CONTRACT agreed in 2011 between the German Bishops’ Conference and Lower Saxony Institute for Criminology (KFN) – aimed at carrying out one the most comprehensive investigations of clerical child abuse in the world – has hit the barriers.

According to this report, cooperation between the Church and the KFN ended:

Due to unacceptable interference by the Church.

The break was announced by KFN Director Christian Pfeiffer. He said that project had been scuppered by the:

Censorship and control requests of the Church.

In terms of the contract, the complete files of all of Germany’s dioceses ­ – some dating as far back as World War II – were to be scrutinised for evidence of child abuse.

Protesters hold a banner which reads 'Bishops, stop the sexual abuse' in the southern German city of Freiburg on February 22, 2010. (MICHAEL LATZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters hold a banner which reads ‘Bishops, stop the sexual abuse’ in the southern German city of Freiburg on February 22, 2010. (MICHAEL LATZ/AFP/Getty Images)

But last year, the Church demanded changes to the contract following complaints from priests and some bishops. These amendments included giving the Church the power to veto the publication of results and the appointment of new researchers.

Pfeiffer also said there were indications that the Church had destroyed incriminating files in several dioceses, a claim denied by the Association of German Dioceses’ (VDD) Chairman Hans Langendörfer. He said:

I have no evidence that abuse files were destroyed.

A spokesman for the archdiocese of Munich and Freising rejected Pfeiffer’s claims, saying that there was absolutely no grounds for talk of “censorship requests.”

Instead, the discussion had been about:

How the unconditional will for clarification in the interests of the victims could be brought together with the necessary duty of care towards church workers.

He added that the main issue was data protection.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, according to this report, said she had demanded an immediate explanation from the Church.

The Bishops’ Conference says it plans to commission a new abuse inquiry from a different team in the coming months.

Surveys in 2010 showed that only 30 percent of Germans believed the RCC was capable of honesty. Only 20 per cent believed that the Church would help to investigate abuse claims, with 68 percent saying they did not think it would cooperate with any investigations.

Meanwhile, in Holland, a plan to “name and shame” Catholics who desert the RCC has been knocked on the head by the Church.

Tilburg minister Harm Schilder said he wanted to pin photographs of deserters in the doorway of his parish church. This, he said

Will allow the congregation to pray for them and perhaps convince them to stay.

The plan was dropped when Church officials from the diocese of Den Bosch said the minister was free to do what he wants, but urged him to respect people’s privacy.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of people leaving the Catholic church since the Pope condemned gay marriage last month.

Schilder now says he is not planning to “name and shame” people leaving the church but that prayer is the only option open to try and change things.

The privacy watchdog CBP has also commented on the case and said it would have been “more decent” if Schilder had asked people first if they minded being named in public.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Catholic Church’s Peter Kearney has blamed anti-Catholic sentiments there on secularism. He claimed that the main “proponents of anti-Catholic intolerance” were the champions of secularism, rather than the “militantly Protestant quarters” of the early-1980s

Hat tip : BarrieJohn (German report), Glenn (Dutch report) & Euan  (Scottish report)

 

12 Responses to “Catholic Church in Germany kills cooperation with clerical abuse investigators”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    Surely it would be more appropriate to name and shame people who are practicing members of the RCC, as they are the ones who keep the pope’s child-abusing mafia in business.

  2. RabbitOnAStick says:

    It is quite amazing in today’s age that there are so many people willing to cover up their abuse on children.

    “Pfeiffer also said there were indications that the Church had destroyed incriminating files in several dioceses, a claim denied by the Association of German Dioceses’ (VDD) Chairman Hans Langendörfer. He said:

    I have no evidence that abuse files were destroyed.”

    I think even without evidence that most people could conclude that something is wrong because it is so hard to get any of these scum to admit any form of wrong doing of abuse against innocents. What utter scum these people are.

  3. barriejohn says:

    GERMANY’S Justice Minister praised on Thursday a criminologist sacked by the German Roman Catholic Church over his research into clerical sexual abuse.

    Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said Christian Pfeiffer was one of Germany’s foremost experts in his field and that bishops appeared to have wanted to control which of his findings would eventually be published.

    http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/germanys-justice-minister-slams-catholic-bishops-over-abuse-study-3348492.html

  4. Daz says:

    Given that part of the charge against the church as a whole is that they, as an institution, have been complicit in the cover-up of crimes, just what point is there in seeking their cooperation in uncovering those crimes? They’ve already shown themselves to be untrustworthy on the matter.

  5. JohnMWhite says:

    Not at all surprised at the German story. This is what the Catholic Church does. They are dishonest to the core, and their raison d’etre is to cause harm to children, women and gay people while preserving their own power and illusion of piety. That’s just how they operate now, and that is what they spend their time and energy on.

    And no doubt saying such a thing will cause some to think I am anti-Catholic. Well, Peter Kearney almost has a point. There is anti-Catholic sentiment in Scotland, and there’s a secular reason for it. No longer is it because of trifling tribalism like the stupid wars between Celtic and Rangers supporters, it’s because people with a conscience are absolutely appalled at those who continue to prop up the Catholic church and the steady stream of damage it has done and continues to do to children, women and homosexuals. It’s not a bad thing to be anti-bigotry, and it is utterly childish and a deliberate strawman to pretend that standing against the church’s despicable words and actions is the same as shoving somebody in front of a train because of their religious affiliation. Criticising the Catholic Church is not the same as hating somebody for being a Catholic. I would write to Peter Kearney to explain this misunderstanding of his, but I have never received a reply from a single member of the Scottish Catholic hierarchy in all the times I have written to them. They are moral cowards, incapable of defending themselves, only interested in pursuing their god-given right to continue to abuse and cling to power.

    Where are all the good apples? Where are the multitudes of good Catholics decrying the sexual abuse of children and the desperate attempts of the hierarchy to cover it up and evade and impede investigations? I can almost understand why there would be Kearney’s fabled anti-Catholic sentiment when it gets to the point that we’re not seeing average churchgoers or the average clergy stand up against this. They are giving it their silent assent, and that assent is disturbing and abhorrent, though I imagine for most of them it comes not because they want children to be raped but because they are too afraid to criticise the church that has them in its thrall. At least the church in Holland had somebody smart enough to realise what a bad idea pinning up photographs of ‘deserters’ would be. The church in Scotland, sadly, seems to be run by petulant children who never think before they open their mouths and never seem to understand why they aren’t getting their own way as they stamp their feet and refuse to engage in a grown up discussion.

  6. Stonyground says:

    “…prayer is the only option open to try and change things.”

    Hahahaha, if that is the case then they really are screwed.

  7. T says:

    The authorities in Germany should padlock the church doors and put a curfew on the priests until the files are handed over. Who is in charge of law and order in Germany – the rcc?

  8. T says:

    Even better – freeze the assets and bank accounts of the rcc in Germany until they hand over the files.

  9. [...] Catholic Church in Germany kills cooperation with clerical abuse … Go to this article [...]

  10. Canada Dave says:

    “I have no evidence that abuse files were destroyed.”

    Duh …of course there is no evidence ….it has been destroyed.

  11. [...] Catholic Church in Germany kills cooperation with clerical abuse investigators. [...]