The German Catholic bishops agreed Thursday, September 24 on compensation of up to 50,000 euros for minors sexually abused by the clergy, an amount deemed "
" by victims' associations who want a debate in parliament.
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The bishops gathered during their autumn episcopal conference in Fulda validated a proposal made in March which is oriented "
towards the upper range of payment in cases of damages and interest
", declared their president Georg Bätzing.
The sum for each victim will be fixed by an independent commission.
Applications can be sent from January 2021, even if financial compensation has already been received in the past.
So far, they have not exceeded 5,000 euros.
This is a victim-oriented process (...) a big step forward
", said Georg Bätzing, recalling that the church also covered the costs of therapy.
Victims' defense associations have denounced "
does not help the victims
" and announced the upcoming launch of a petition to organize a debate in the Bundestag, in the hope of finally making all the difference. light on these acts.
3677 minors sexually abused since 1946
The victims have been waiting for 10 years
", when the first cases of sexual abuse were revealed, "for
a fair compensation not only for the crimes committed in the past, but also for the systematic cover-up of these acts and the protection of their perpetrators
», According to the text of the petition published by the association Eckiger Tisch.
Children have often been endangered by negligence, because the perpetrators of these acts have only been transferred,
” he underlines.
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Two years ago, a study by independent researchers, but commissioned by the church, found that 3,677 minors had been sexually abused by more than a thousand members of the clergy since 1946. The authors of the study, who no had not had access to all the archives of the Church, had estimated that the number of victims was undoubtedly higher.
The Catholic Church, which remains despite the crisis of confidence it is going through, the largest denomination in Germany with nearly 23 million members, officially apologized and promised to increase its compensation.
An independent commission had recommended two solutions: a lump sum payment of 300,000 euros, or an individualized system with payments ranging according to the seriousness of the cases from 40,000 to 400,000 euros.
The Church's offer is therefore far from expectations.