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Abuse in the Catholic Church: Vatican child protection expert sees "continued great resistance" to processing


Hans Zollner, Pope Francis' advisor on abuse issues, calls on church leaders to face up to their responsibilities. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Bätzing bishops' conference is worried about the believers.

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Vatican child protection expert Zollner: "Over-identification with the institution"


Gregorio Borgia/ AP

Pope Francis' adviser on abuse issues, Hans Zollner, has called for resistance in the Catholic Church to investigating sexual abuse.

The publication of the report on the abuse and its cover-up in the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising shows "that clarification and processing in the church continue to encounter great resistance," Zollner told the "Welt am Sonntag".

Taking on personal responsibility is obviously very difficult, added Zollner.

This has to do with "over-identification with the institution" and with a "one-sided image of the church" - as if "everything on the outside has to be flawless".

This also applies to “the role of the former Archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger, today Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI”.

The day before, a report had been published in which serious allegations were made against the Pope Emeritus in dealing with cases of abuse. The Jesuit Zollner is a member of the Child Protection Commission at the Vatican and heads the Center for the Protection of Minors at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, announced that the abuse scandal would be "relentlessly" clarified. "Yes, sometimes I'm ashamed that we had such a past," he said on Friday evening in a service before the New Year's reception of the German Association of Journalists (DJV) in the Trier district. "For the world to believe, we must therefore do what happened again yesterday: mercilessly face the truth as we were in church," said Bätzing. One must clearly see what "disastrous behavior" was done by the leadership and leaders of the church "up to and including a pope emeritus". The church must "face the truth, no matter how painful it is".

Bätzing went on to say that he knew that this situation weighed heavily on many believers.

They would have to justify to friends and family that they still "belong to this club."

"It's been covered up and hushed up long enough, now is the time for truth," said the head of the German Bishops' Conference.

He appealed to the faithful: "Don't lose heart.

We're doing what we have to do during this time.« The church must advertise that people might trust it again.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-01-21

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