An impartial research commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church uncovered a whole bunch of instances of sexual violence allegedly dedicated by clergy and laymen in Germany’s high diocese, its authors stated Thursday.
The long-awaited 800-page report on the Cologne diocese discovered 202 alleged perpetrators of sexual assault and 314 victims between 1975 and 2018, the legal professional mandated by the Church, Bjoern Gercke, advised reporters.
“Greater than half of the victims have been youngsters below the age of 14,” Gercke stated.
Nonetheless the investigation cleared Cologne’s Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki, a conservative who has lengthy resisted Church reform efforts, of “breach of responsibility” concerning abuse inside the Church.
Woelki had confronted a months-long firestorm of protest for refusing to permit the publication of an earlier research on abuse dedicated by clergymen in his diocese.
He had justified his determination by citing a proper to privateness of the alleged perpetrators accused within the report, carried out by a Munich regulation agency, and what he known as an absence of independence on the a part of some researchers.
His method was branded “a catastrophe” as just lately as late February by Georg Baetzing, president of the German bishops’ convention, in a blistering public assertion.
Woelki stated in early March he would instantly “quickly droop, if crucial, folks cited within the report” earlier than taking extra concrete measures to handle its findings subsequent week.
And he expressed willingness to throw his weight behind an sincere accounting of crimes dedicated inside the Church. “Solely the reality can set us free from the shadows of the previous,” he stated.
Woelki was on account of make an announcement later Thursday.