“Take responsibility.”

New direction in dealing with abuse: Experts believe that a separate study is needed to clarify abuse in the Protestant Church. The respective regional churches would have a special responsibility in this regard.

"The individual regional churches must consistently and above all independently work up," said the former Independent Commissioner for the Reappraisal of Sexual Child Abuse, Christine Bergmann, the "Time" supplement "Christ und Welt". Abuse cases in the Protestant church had been regarded as isolated incidents.

"Protection of perpetrators and institutions often took precedence over child protection, even among Protestants; they also covered up and in many cases did not offer support to those affected," criticized the ex-Federal Minister for Family Affairs. Perpetrators were sometimes only transferred. Also the Protestant church would have to recognize injustice and take responsibility. In recent years, a number of things have happened in the regional churches. But there was a lack of consistent processing.

Good example North Church

Bergmann described as a good example the process of coming to terms with the North Church, which had been the basis for a prevention law.

"In November, the synod will address the ie of sexualized violence in the church context, and the church conference has proposed a number of important measures."Sexualized violence against children and adolescents is not a topic of the past, the frequency is alarming.

Catholic Church study provides important insight

The latest abuse study for the Catholic Church shows "only the tip of the iceberg because, among other things, the researchers did not have direct access to the files," Bergmann said. "But it does provide an important insight." It had been "clear" that the Catholic Church was "not the only one to be guilty". "What annoys me above all is that up to now, however, a reappraisal has only ever happened when those affected have not let up."

For the Catholic Church, researchers had presented the "Study on sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the area of the German Bishops' Conference" at the end of September in Fulda at the autumn plenary meeting of the bishops.

In church files from 1946 to 2014, the research team had found evidence of 3.677 victims of sexual assault and on about 1.670 accused priests, deacons and religious found. The experts also ame that there are other cases that are not on record. (CBA)

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Christina Cherry
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