No conclusion at the end of the year

No conclusion at the end of the year

The scandal surrounding the sexual abuse of children in Speyer has since caused a nationwide stir. An interview with Bishop Wiesemann had set the ball rolling. Now further publications are to be expected.

The coverage began exactly two weeks before Christmas Eve with the publication of an interview by Speyer Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann in his church newspaper "Pilgrim. After that, it must be amed that former vicar general and officiant Rudolf Motzenbacker was guilty of sexual abuse. According to the report, three affected people independently make accusations because they were abused for a long time between 1963 and 1975 by the priest, who died in 1998.

A different quality was added to the case by a ruling of the Darmstadt Social Court in May. In it, over many pages, the dramatic childhood of a man born in 1957 is described, who experienced a "time of constant abuse" in the Engelsgasse in Speyer and, according to his own statements, "extrapolated 1.000 times" was raped. In this context, the Niederbronn sister comes into play, whom the victim blames for his suffering.

Order comes under the spotlight

These first publications soon found expression in texts of the CBA, in online portals and regional newspapers. In the days that followed, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", the "Suddeutsche Zeitung" and the Internet site of the "Spiegel", the leading German media also took care of the case, and interest grew.

Market leader dpa rose on 17. December, but limited the coverage to the events in Speyer. Above all, dpa is concerned with Wiesemann's call for more victims to come forward without fear to the diocese's independent abuse commissioners. The Niederbronn sisters are not mentioned in the dpa text.

The Order, however, is increasingly becoming the focus of attention for other media outlets. It is known in journalistic circles that a large South German newspaper has been researching the case very intensively for months. It is quite possible that other media will also continue to focus heavily on the case. It can therefore be considered impossible that the turn of the year means a conclusion.

The interest in research is certainly also fueled by statements from the victim of abuse in Speyer, according to which not only clerics but also politicians and dignitaries are said to have abused the children. Finding the truth is difficult, however, because there are hardly any living eyewitnesses other than the alleged victims.

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Christina Cherry
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