Victims' initiative indirectly calls for leaving the church

Victims' initiative indirectly calls for leaving the church

The victims' initiative "Eckiger Tisch" had argued for a fundamentally different model and higher sums for the compensation of abuse victims. Indirectly, the initiative now calls on Catholics to leave the church.

Strong criticism of the Catholic bishops' new model for reparations in cases of sexual abuse is voiced by the victims' initiative "Eckiger Tisch". "The church in Germany is not willing to take responsibility for its crimes and offer compensation to its victims. It only wants to pay recognition benefits and is oriented towards the perpetrators who abused," the initiative explained this Thursday in Berlin. The now announced further development of the system of recognition payments was despondent and meant a failure of the bishops.

Chance to go beyond what is legally required

The initiative reproached the church for only doing what it was forced to do by the victims and their allies in the public sphere. "Thereby there would have been the possibility to exceed for the first time the minimum of what is legally required."

"The damages for pain and suffering that can be enforced in court in Germany are often pitifully low," the initiative emphasized. To this minimum of the judicially enforceable the church wants to limit itself. The initiative indirectly called on Catholics in Germany to leave the church and stop paying church tax. "Do they want to continue to support with their contributions a church structure that is so obviously attached to money and disregards its victims? Do they want to continue to be held jointly liable for the moral failures of their shepherds?"

"Eckiger Tisch" will continue to fight for compensation

The state must also ask itself whether it wants to continue entrusting children and young people to such an institution. A corporate criminal law is also necessary, which punishes criminal structures and enables appropriate compensation from the victim's point of view. "We will now have to shake and reposition ourselves. We will continue to fight for actual compensation," the initiative announced. "And we will no longer fall so easily for the words that are supposed to signal insight and empathy, but in the end are just hard-heartedly stuck with the money."

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Christina Cherry
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