Difficult solution

Difficult solution

German bishops with Nuncio Eterovic (z.v.l.) © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

How much and how much money should be used to compensate victims of sexual abuse by clergy?? The Permanent Council of the German Bishops' Conference discussed the matter. A consensus has not yet been reached.

The German Catholic bishops have not yet agreed on a procedure for compensation payments to victims of sexual abuse by clergymen.

Further steps are to be presented at the end of January, as the German Bishops' Conference announced in Bonn on Tuesday. The abuse commissioner of the Bishops' Conference, Bishop Stephan Ackermann, reported at the meeting of the Permanent Council in Wurzburg on the "status of the consultations on the question of the review and further development of the procedure for services in recognition of inflicted suffering".

Working group presented two models

Most recently, the question of whether compensation should be paid out of church taxes had been the main source of debate. For the amount of the payments, a working group with the participation of victims proposed two models in September: a lump sum of about 300.000 euros per victim or a graduated procedure in which, depending on the severity of the case, between 40.000 and 400.000 euros were paid.

Estimates put the total amount at up to one billion euros – although this figure has never been officially confirmed. No agreement has yet been reached on details of the recognition process either. The church abuse scandal had become known in Germany in January 2010.

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Christina Cherry
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