“Deeply shocked”

For the first time, the Catholic bishop of Hildesheim, Norbert Trelle, has commented on the allegations of abuse against the former local bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen, who died in 1988.

On the sidelines of a confirmation service on Saturday evening in Barsinghausen near Hanover, he expressed himself "deeply shocked" by the allegations. "I stand here before you with a trembling heart," the 73-year-old Trelle said. The accusations filled him with deep sadness.

The responsible investigative commission considers the accusations of a man to have been regularly forced to sexual acts by Bishop Janssen between 1958 and 1963 as an altar boy of 10 to 12 years old at that time "plausible in parts". Janssen led the diaspora diocese from May 1957 to the end of 1983.

Trelle ared further investigations by the commission. The church wants to "clearly counter" the suspicion of wanting to hide something. This is the "only right and responsible way", the bishop of Hildesheim said. He asked to "stay together" and for the "sustaining power of prayer" . – Heinrich Maria Janssen (1907-1988) is the first German bishop to be accused of sexual assault against minors.

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Christina Cherry
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