Reappraisal progresses

Reappraisal progresses

New impetus in coming to terms with possible abuse cases in the diocese of Hildesheim: the Munich-based Institute for Practical Research and Project Consulting has now launched an appeal to possible abuse victims in the diocese of Hildesheim.

People who suffered sexual assaults by former Hildesheim Catholic Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen (1907-1988) or retired priest Peter R. The Institute for Practical Research and Project Consultancy (IPP) announced in Munich on Monday that those who have suffered from the virus should come forward. People who have knowledge of such incidents are also asked for information.

Diocese commissions experts

The diocese of Hildesheim had commissioned the IPP's independent experts in the middle of last year to clarify the allegations of abuse.

Their staff is also to evaluate the diocese's handling of the cases to date. It is hoped to clarify whether there was an institutional failure "that facilitated the alleged abuses and made them more difficult to prosecute," the diocese said.

According to IPP spokesman Gerhard Hackenschmied, Bishop Janssen of Hildesheim, who died in 1988, is accused of three cases of abuse. In one of the cases, the diocese paid a so-called recognition benefit of 10.000 euros. The IPP is also to clarify whether testing and payment were carried out according to the regulations of the German Bishops' Conference.

Nationwide sensation

The abuse case of former priest and convicted abuser Peter R. Had caused a nationwide stir in late 2015. Priest allegedly abused at least 100 children at Berlin's Canisius College in the 1970s and 1980s. The accusations of a young woman from the diocese of Hildesheim that the man had also harassed her as a child were not followed up consistently enough by the diocese itself in 2010, as it admitted. In early 2016, the girl's mother also spoke out with similar accusations.

Peter R. Was, according to the information, from 1982 to 1989 deanery youth chaplain in Gottingen, then until 1997 in the parish Guter Hirte in Hildesheim, until 1998 in St. Christophorus in Wolfsburg and finally until 2003 in St. Maximilian Kolbe in Hanover active.

All information would be kept strictly confidential and deleted once the report was completed, it said. All IPP staff had extensive experience in dealing with victims of abuse. Psychosocial counseling would also be imparted.

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Christina Cherry
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