Bishop Ackermann © Dedert
The Catholic Church must show that it is serious about coming to terms with the numerous abuse scandals, he said. Extensive reforms are necessary for this. Abuse commissioner
Bishop Ackermann therefore pleads for fear-free conversations – also about celibacy.
In the wake of the abuse scandal, the Catholic Church faces "an epochal challenge," according to Trier Bishop Stephan Ackermann. "In any case, this is a caesura in the history of the church with the challenge to be church in a greater truthfulness," the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) commissioner for sexual abuse ies in the church sector told the German Press Agency.
The church is in crisis in many countries: "We are at a critical point. You can't keep that quiet". However, he said, the church has always shown strength for renewal in the past: "The church has a future, that's not a question for me."
It is now about reform
Bishop Ackermann pleaded for a discussion within the church "in as broad and open a way as possible" about controversial ies "without prohibitions of discussion, without false taboos". This, he said, should be about power, sexual morality and the celibate lifestyle of priests "without prejudice from one side or the other". Ackermann sees only one way to change clerical power structures: "To prevent abuse of power, power must be shared and controlled."
In September, the DBK had presented a study on sexual abuse of children and adolescents by Catholic clerics. Personnel files between 1946 and 2014 were examined: As a result, at least 1670 Catholic clergy are said to have abused 3677 mostly male minors.