Cross against an overcast sky © a. m. dan (shutterstock)
Coming to terms with sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in northern Germany is taking concrete shape. The dioceses thus implement the resolutions agreed upon by bishops and abuse commissioners.
A joint commission of the dioceses of Hamburg, Hildesheim and Osnabruck, as well as an advisory council for those affected, would begin their work as soon as possible, said the spokesman for the archdiocese of Hamburg, Manfred Nielen, to the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on Friday. Final legal preparations were currently underway for the committees. The public invitation to participate in the advisory board for those affected should be ied as soon as possible.
According to Nielen, the commission will consist of nine members, who will be appointed jointly by the bishops. Among them should be three independent experts from science, professional practice, judiciary or public administration. Three people are sent by the affected persons' advisory council. Another three experts from the fields of archives, law and theology would represent the participating dioceses.
Members wanted for affected persons advisory board
Six people are being sought for the affected persons advisory board, Nielen said. The committee should be as equal as possible in terms of age and gender. For the honorary office, which is advertised for three years, adults who have experienced sexual abuse in the church, as well as their relatives and companions, could apply.
The participation in the council can – in contrast to the cooperation in the reappraisal commission – also take place anonymously.
Applicants for the Stakeholder Advisory Board are reportedly required to have a one-on-one interview with an independent professional. The respective professionals would propose six applicants for membership, who would then be appointed by the bishops.
The northern German dioceses are thus implementing the standards agreed upon last year between the German Bishops' Conference and the federal government's commissioner on abuse. Accordingly, in the future there must be an independent commission in all 27 German dioceses to deal with sexual abuse, in which those affected are also involved.