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Catholic Church in Germany calls off study on sexual abuse | News | DW.DE | 09.01.2013

The Catholic Church in Germany has terminated an investigation into alleged cases of sexual abuse by clergy members. It is unclear whether the research will be continued by a different team.

The German Bishops' Conference confirmed that it has ended cooperation with the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN) which had been investigating sexual abuse cases committed by employees of the Catholic Church, citing the lack of trust.

"The relationship of mutual trust between the bishops and the head of the institute has been destroyed," the Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, explained on Wednesday morning, saying that constructive cooperation had become impossible.

"Trust is vital for such an extensive project dealing with such a sensitive issue."

In an interview with public broadcaster "Deutschlandfunk," Christian Pfeiffer, the head of the KFN institute accused Church officials of hampering his team's research efforts by continually attempting to intervene in and control the investigation. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper he spoke of censorship.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:15:10 PM EST
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Catholic Church abuse hotline goes cold | Germany | DW.DE | 01.01.2013

The Catholic Church in Germany has closed its hotline for victims of sexual abuse due to lack of use. Critics say the church is not doing enough to counter this ongoing problem.

For two and a half years, the counseling service run by the Catholic Church was set up as a first point of contact for victims of abuse and their relatives.

Today, few people call the number, Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German Bishops' Conference, told Deutsche Welle. He said the telephone helpline had fulfilled its purpose and would be turned off at the end of 2012.

Incidents of abuse Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig: An 'important first step' against abuse is being taken away

Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig doesn't approve of this decision. He is the independent special representative for sexual abuse of minors, appointed by the German government. Telephone helplines are "important for the first step towards finding help," he said in an interview with German public television.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:15:21 PM EST
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I wonder about the logistics of this. Presumably a hot line of this sort would not be taking calls at a very high rate, maybe one a week? One a month? In any case it's not going to be worthwhile having somebody sitting there doing nothing but monitoring the phone, so it must be handled by some other system. Maybe an administrator in the central office takes the initial call and then routes it to an on-call Bishop or something? Or to a lawyer's office?

If that's how it works, then what does "shutting it off" really mean? It's hardly "on" in the first place...

by asdf on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 08:37:34 PM EST
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Well, insofar as the Catholic hierarchy is visibly not co-operating with investigators, why on earth would a victim of abuse call a Catholic hotline? How could they possibly have confidence that they would actually receive help?

The hotline needs to be operated by an entity which is above all suspicion, obviously.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:52:49 AM EST
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