First diocese to pay

First diocese to pay

Freiburg Cathedral © Markus Gann (shutterstock)

With the monthly support payments to twelve victims of sexual abuse, Freiburg is the first diocese to pay. Therapy costs are also reimbursed. Approved funds are initially for one year.

Twelve victims of sexual abuse have so far applied for a monthly support payment from the Archdiocese of Freiburg. According to a spokesman, five of them have been examined so far. The monthly payments are initially approved for one year, but may be extended beyond that time.

First diocese to pay

The expansion of aid in the archdiocese includes monthly payments of up to 800 euros as well as one-time payments of up to 30.000 euros. The corresponding order set Archbishop Stephan Burger now retroactively to 1. January in effect, the diocese announced today (Wednesday). Freiburg is the first Catholic diocese in Germany to pay such monthly support payments. According to the diocese, no church tax money was used in the process.

The model, which was developed together with those affected, takes into account the fact that abuse can have long-term professional and health consequences, it said. While the amount of one-time recognition payments also depends on the severity of the sexual violence suffered, the amount of monthly payments is based solely on the degree of need of the victims.

Establishment of a council of victims

The "Recognition and Support Regulations for the Area of the Archdiocese of Freiburg" also provide for the reimbursement of therapy costs. The diocese also wants to support victims and their relatives in finding a place in therapy. The establishment of a council of affected persons is also promoted.

Catholic dioceses throughout Germany are currently discussing forms of compensation and recognition for victims of sexual violence by church employees. So far there are no nationwide regulations.

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Christina Cherry
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