Archbishop Stefan Hebe © Lars Berg (KNA)
Catholic youth associations in Hamburg archdiocese express respect for Archbishop Stefan Hebe's decision to offer the pope his resignation from office. It is a question of an appropriate and consistent step, it says.
However, they deeply regret the need to do so, according to a statement released Thursday evening by the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ) in the Archdiocese of Hamburg.
The results of the abuse report for the archdiocese of Cologne are on the one hand shocking and on the other hand only confirm the fears of the umbrella organization. "In view of the fact that this report could only be based on the files available, it must be amed that the real extent of sexualized violence in our church is much greater than this."
Hebe had offered his resignation to the Pope on Thursday and asked for immediate release from his duties after an incriminating expert opinion had been presented in the archdiocese of Cologne.
The study accuses the former Cologne personnel director and vicar general of eleven breaches of duty in investigating abuse cases. After loud becoming first accusations against Hebe the Hamburg BDKJ had already requested the archbishop in February to let his office rest.
Expert opinion a "first step"
The demand was connected with the hope that the accusations could be clarified with the publication of the study, the BDKJ continued. "We very much regret that today's expert opinion has delivered a different result and has now made this step of consequent acceptance of responsibility necessary."
The umbrella organization describes the report as a "first step" on the way to coming to terms with the problem. The archdiocese of Hamburg should work for the opening of all archives in all German dioceses and religious orders for corresponding reappraisals. However, a comprehensive reappraisal cannot be limited to the files alone, but must also include the people affected.