Germany: Catholic church apologises over child abuse

Germany’s Catholic Church on Tuesday apologised to victims of sexual assault by clergy, with the institution’s top cardinal saying perpetrators must be brought to justice.



Cardinal Reinhard Marx said he was ashamed over the decades of abuse that have shattered trust, the crimes carried out by officials of the Church, as well as how so many have looked away for so long.

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The dismay expressed by the head of the German Bishops’ Conference came as the institution published a damning report showing that in Germany, almost 3,700 minors — mostly boys — were assaulted between 1946 and 2014.

The report’s authors said however that the figure was “the tip of the iceberg” and that the real extent of the problem was far greater.

“I have to say very clearly that sexual abuse is a crime. Those who are guilty must be punished,” said Cardinal Marx at a press conference.

“For all the failures and for all the pain, as chairman of Germany’s Bishops Conference, I apologise. I also apologise on a personal basis.

“We are not done with confronting the incidents and consequences, it begins now,” he stressed.

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2018-09-25

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