Conditions not consistently observed

Conditions not consistently observed

The diocese of Munster has admitted that it did not consistently enforce conditions against a priest accused of abuse. At the weekend, a letter from those affected was read out in the services of a Kevelaer parish.

The diocese of Munster has made public another case of abuse and admitted mistakes in dealing with the current retired clergyman. This is in the 1980s as a chaplain in the Lower Rhine pilgrimage town of Kevelaer in the context of the confession over a longer period of time to a girl sexually have committed, as the diocese announced on Sunday.

According to the diocese, it has been aware of the incident since 2010.

At that time, however, the woman concerned had expressly demanded that the facts not be made public and that the public prosecutor's office not be called in.

Accused celebrated publicly despite conditions

The diocese had reported the facts to Rome to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as it said. After completion of the examinations there, the clergyman had been allowed priestly activities only in an area assigned by the diocese. The person concerned had contacted the diocese again about three years ago, because the clergyman continued to celebrate services in public, contrary to the requirements.

The diocese admitted that it had not followed up the indications of public services by the clergyman with the appropriate consistency. In a letter to the woman, Munster's Bishop Felix Genn said he regretted that the conditions had not been consistently observed. In the meantime, priests are completely forbidden to hold church services in public.

Step to the public

The woman concerned, after advice from a lawyer, has now taken the step into the public eye, so that other victims may come forward, according to the diocese. She also wanted to make clear that women had also been victims of sexual assault and abuse in the church. A letter from her was published on 2. and 3. November read out in services of Kevelaer parish Sankt Marien, as it was called.

The diocese's intervention officer, Peter Frings, emphasized that the statements of the woman concerned were believed. Apart from the now published case, the diocese is not yet aware of any further indications or reports.

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Christina Cherry
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