Bishop Stephan Ackermann © Harald Oppitz (KNA)
Victims of abuse in the diocese of Trier accuse Bishop Stephan Ackermann of failing to come to terms with abuse in his own diocese. The lack of an independent reappraisal is also criticized. The diocese rejects the criticism.
In a now published statement, the initiative Missbit complains about "ignorance and passivity" of the bishop, who is also the abuse commissioner of the Catholic German Bishops' Conference. The abuse study of the Bishops' Conference published a year ago recommended an independent reappraisal. In Trier, however, in contrast to other dioceses such as Essen, Cologne or Mainz, this has not yet been addressed.
No independent study
The statement says: "Why is there still no independent study of the sexual abuse that has occurred and is occurring in the entire area of responsibility of the diocese of Trier, that is, of all places, not in that diocese whose bishop as abuse commissioner should actually have set a good example??"In addition, Missbit accuses the diocese's prevention office of working inefficiently.
According to the MHG study, church files from 1946 to 2014 contained evidence of nationwide 3.677 victims of sexual assault and on about 1.670 accused priests, deacons and religious found.
According to the report, there are 148 accused in the Trier diocese, all of whom were priests. A total of 442 potentially affected persons have been identified, 252 of them male and 190 female.
Diocese rejects criticism
The diocese of Trier rejected the criticism on Wednesday. Together with the federal government's abuse commissioner, Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig, "criteria and standards" would be agreed upon and should be available by the end of the year. Bishop Ackermann had also promised to involve those affected in coming to terms with the abuse.
A first independent and facility-based project for coming to terms with the past is to be launched on 31 December. October launch and investigate sexual, physical and psychological violence at former Albertinum episcopal boarding school in Gerolstein.