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Abuse in Germany: Card. Marx (DBK), “We have often promoted a clericalism which has in turn facilitated violence and abuse”

(Foto Siciliani-Gennari/SIR)

While presenting the report on sexual abuse in the Church in Germany, Cardinal Reinhard Marx wondered whether the efforts made so far have been sufficient: “Justice should be rendered to sexual violence victims. We do not want to fight sexual abuse in the Church without taking into account the victims. We must create a climate in which also others have the courage to expose their sufferings and wounds. For far too long, we have looked elsewhere, out of love for the institution and to defend ourselves, bishops and priests”. Card. Marx emphasized that “we accept power structures and we have often promoted a clericalism which has in turn facilitated violence and abuse. We were able to honour our 2010 commitments, but in part, we have not finished yet: indeed, the findings of this study clearly show that we must go ahead”. According to Card. Marx, the report presented today during the autumn Plenary Assembly of the German Bishops’ Conference in Fulda shows that “tackling sexual violence in the Church still demands our strong commitment. As a Church, we have a responsibility and we must take on this responsibility. As a Church, we want to arise confidence, not disappointment. I know it is difficult. I understand those who say: We do not believe you. I very much hope that we will be able to regain their trust. And quite frankly, this is not about saving an institution”. The Cardinal reminded the press that the findings of the study will serve as a basis for further discussion and action. “Looking into our past was and is necessary for us to face a new chapter with determination”.

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