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Canon lawyer accuses experts of exonerating those responsible in the Archdiocese of Cologne


Those affected and experts criticize the report on dealing with sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne. In many places it does not go far enough, complains canon lawyer Thomas Schüller.

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“11 years of relentless coming to terms with cases of abuse”: A sculpture in front of Cologne Cathedral prophesied what experts are now accusing the archdiocese of

Photo: Martin Meissner / AP

Canon lawyer Thomas Schüller has criticized the report on how those responsible in the Archdiocese of Cologne deal with allegations of abuse.

It is a good thing that some of those responsible who have committed breaches of duty are identified in the investigation.

But at the same time: "To a large extent, the statements seem more like a defense speech, because the operation is carried out with an unconvincing ignorance of the law and thus cover-ups are exculpated," said Schüller.

The confusion of the church structures is no excuse for wrongdoing, so Schüller.

He called on the Hamburg Archbishop Stefan Heße and the Cologne Auxiliary Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp to "offer their resignation to the Pope".

Both are seriously accused in the report.

Schwaderlapp has meanwhile offered to resign.

"I ask Pope Francis for his judgment," he wrote in a statement.

"Power structures without any control have made abuse and cover-up possible for decades."

Christine Lambrecht (SPD), Federal Minister of Justice

The abuse commissioner of the federal government described the extent of the allegations against those responsible as "terrifying".

Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig said he was glad that the "unbearable waiting time" for the examination had come to an end.

The report is an important one of many other pieces of the mosaic of the processing.

It focuses on the question "why church people have dealt so rigorously and heartlessly with child victims" and consider the "often serious consequences of sexual abuse, the physical and mental suffering and destroyed lives".

Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht also called for more far-reaching consequences.

"Everyone who bears responsibility in the Catholic Church must finally change structures, take a look and intervene," said the SPD politician.

"There is an urgent need for trustworthy agencies that take every hint seriously." The Catholic Church must finally do everything to ensure that appalling crimes against children do not repeat themselves.

The report that has now been presented once again gives an idea of ​​the terrible sexual violence children and young people would have suffered in Catholic institutions, said Lambrecht.

"Power structures without any control have made abuse and cover-up possible for decades."

For the former President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse (SPD), the responsibility of the Catholic Church does not end with the report.

"The Catholic Church has a damned duty to educate as radically as possible," said Thierse, who is also a member of the Central Committee of German Catholics, in the ARD "Morgenmagazin".

"The church must change in the face of this shock," said Thierse.

With a view to the Synodal Way reform process, the SPD politician added: »She must become more feminine.

It has to be less hierarchical, it has to be more open «.

The “Eckiger Tisch” initiative for those affected was skeptical of the report before it was published.

"We complain that again the church as client - the archbishop, who will potentially have to be examined critically in his behavior - are the ones who brought this report on the way," said spokesman Matthias Katsch on Deutschlandfunk.

"Besides, I have the greatest doubts that such a complex can be cleared up just by studying the files," said Katsch.

The relationship between the Catholic Church and those affected by sexual abuse is already disturbed.

"Those affected no longer trust the current diocese leadership."

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lmd / dpa

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-03-18

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