COLON, Germany (AP) – The much-anticipated report by the Archdiocese of Cologne on the conduct of past sexual assaults by church officials is set to be released on Thursday.
The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Volki, has outraged many local Roman Catholics by giving the first report on how local church officials reacted when priests were accused of months of covert sexual violence.
The cardinal noted legal concerns over the publication of the study by the law firm. The new report was to be published by another lawyer on the same day.
The lawyer assigned to the new report, Bjorn Gerke, previously told the media that his investigation involved more than 300 victims of violence, more than 200 people who have been accused in the Cologne diocese since 1975, according to the German news agency dpa. However, he said the focus of the investigation was not on what the suspects had done to the victims, but rather on whether the church officials, the cardinal, the vicar general and other church officials, had responded correctly. abuse charges.
There has been a lot of criticism inside the German church in recent weeks.
The head of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Baetzing of Limburg, described the crisis management in Cologne as a “disaster” last month, but said the conference had no “sovereignty” to intervene.
Last month, a Cologne court ruled that the number of appointments for those officially leaving the church had risen from 1,500 in March to 1,500 amid high demand. Church members in Germany pay a substantial tax, which goes to support institutions. They have to pay 30 euros ($ 35) to leave the church and officially announce that they are leaving.
Revelations of past sexual violence have haunted churches in Germany and elsewhere for years.
In 2018, a report commissioned by the church concluded that at least 3,667 people had been abused by the clergy in Germany between 1946 and 2014. More than half of the victims were 13 years of age or younger at the time of the violence; ,
In January, a new church system came into force to compensate survivors of the violence. It provides for payments of up to € 50,000 (approximately $ 60,000) per victim. Under the system, which has been in place since 2011, the average payment was around 5,000 euros.