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Merkel: Sex abuse scandal major challenge

Thanks to Lucas for the link.
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-BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel called the sex abuse scandal rocking the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI a major challenge to German society and warned the only way to come to terms with it was to "find out everything that has happened."

Merkel's comments to parliament on Wednesday came amid growing impatience from Germany's Roman Catholics for the pontiff to address the scandal in his homeland, where some 300 former Catholic students have come forward with claims of physical or sexual abuse.

During his weekly general audience in Rome, Benedict said he hopes his upcoming letter to the Irish faithful concerning the sex scandal in the Irish church would help with "repentance, healing and renewal" there, but failed to make any mention of the issue in Germany.

Speaking in English, Benedict acknowledged the Irish church had been "severely shaken" as a result of the crisis, and said he was "deeply concerned."

In her remarks — her first public statement on the German scandal — Merkel stressed that it was important not to point fingers, although the Catholic Church has been at the heart of the German scandal, sparked in January when victims at a church-run Berlin high school went public.

"I think that we all agree that sexual abuse of minors is a despicable crime and the only way for our society to come to terms with it is to look for the truth and find out everything that has happened," Merkel told parliament. "The damage suffered by the victims can never fully be repaired."
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More Than 100 Sex Abuse Cases In German Catholic Church

[Update 17-Mar]
Thanks to LWS for the links below
Original article - SFGate

The scandal in Germany is blowing up, and more and more it begins to resemble Watergate. There's lots of stonewalling - over a much longer period than the Nixon debacle took to unfold - and lots of quiet "reassignments," and an enormous amount of energy devoted to protecting the top guy. And still the question is: What did the pope know and when did he know it?

The scandal, of course, involves the molesting of children by priests. This is not a new problem; a decade ago in this country, the cases grew so numerous and the behavior by church officials so callous that some churches were forced to close and many dioceses were forced to contract.

Much of this information comes from a series of articles by Nicholas Kulish and Rachel Donadio of the New York Times. The opinions, however, are entirely mine.

The situation is different in Germany. There, unlike in the United States, the church cannot be sued. So it is up to the Holy See to provide financial recompense to the abused and to discipline the abusers, including, if it sees fit, to bring them up on charges before an ecclesiastical court. The names of the priests and dispositions of their cases are rarely made public.
Continue reading - SFGate
Original link - TimesOnline
Vienna Boys' Choir caught up in abuse crisis

The Vienna Boys' Choir, whose altos and trebles were once deployed by the likes of Mozart and Bruckner, has been caught up in the wave of paedophile scandals sweeping Germany and Austria.

Since Friday last week eight former choristers, now aged between 40 and 70, have come forward to denounce their teachers.

About 300 claims of sexual abuse have been made by former pupils of German church schools – and in elite non-denominational boarding schools – over the few past weeks.

Chancellor Merkel called today for “truth and clarity” in investigating paedophile abuse not only in the church institutions but everywhere within the educational system.

“We all agree that sexual abuse against children is a despicable crime,” she told parliament.

The Government is considering extending the statue of limitation on sexual abuse. At present, an offender cannot be prosecuted more than ten years after his victim reaches the age of 18.
Continue reading - TimesOnline



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