Pupils “sadistically tormented” at German Catholic monastery

April 12, 2010
ettal

Ettal monastery, March 3, 2010/Johannes Eisele

Children were “sadistically tormented and also sexually abused” at a Catholic monastery in Pope Benedict’s native Bavaria, according to a new report commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church.

A lawyer investigating accusations of abuse in a Benedictine monastery school in Ettal presented a final report to the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising on Monday, including 173 pages of victims’ accounts of abuse.

“My investigations quite clearly show that for decades up until around 1990, children and adolescents were brutally abused in the Ettal monastery,” Thomas Pfister said in a statement.  “The number of victims’ accounts has increased significantly since the intermediary report of March 5,” added Pfister, who said last month that hundreds of pupils had been beaten and some sexually abused at the school.

An archdiocese spokesman said he could not comment on the specific number of victims before a news conference on Tuesday.

A growing sex abuse scandal has rocked confidence in Germany’s Catholic Church.  A survey published on Monday found that a quarter of the country’s Catholics were considering quitting the church in the wake of reports of hundreds of cases, some many decades old, of sexual abuse by clerics.

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