A 350-page document leaked to German media and published this week documents nearly 3,700 cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, deacons and clergy in Germany over a 68-year period.
The release of the document caused shock in Germany, with many criticising the German bishops’ conference for its detailed knowledge of the abuse and their silence about it.
The four-year study examined cases from the postwar era in 1946 to 2014. Approximately 1,670 priests were implicated in the study, the news outlet Deutsche Welle reported. According to Welt news, more than half the victims were 13 years old or younger at the time of the abuse.
Deutsche Welle reported the Church pursued only one-third of alleged abusers, who received minimal sanctions or none, while other accused priests often were relocated to other parishes without any information about the allegations being made public.
The bishops’ conference denounced the publication of the document by the media, calling it “irresponsible.”
Picture: An altar server swings a censer during the opening Mass of the annual meeting of the German bishops’ conference in 2010 in Fulda. A 350-page document leaked to German media and published on 12th September documents nearly 3,700 cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, deacons and clergy in Germany over a 68-year period. (CNS photo/Uwe Zucchi, EPA).