German Jesuit report shows years of sexual abuse cover-up

By Reuters Staff
May 27, 2010
canisius

Canisius College, the Jesuit high school in Berlin, January 28, 2010/Fabrizio Bensch

A Jesuit investigation has cited 205 allegations of sexual abuse against priests at its schools in Germany, revealing decades of systematic abuse and attempts of a cover-up by the prestigious Roman Catholic order.  The new allegations threaten to further undermine the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, already accused of hushing up hundreds of sexual and physical abuse allegations in Church-run schools that have come to light recently.

“In the name of the order, I acknowledge with shame and guilt our failure,” Father Stefan Dartmann, Germany’s leading Jesuit official, said in a statement. “I ask for forgiveness.” The report also cited a further 50 allegations of abuse relating to other, mostly Catholic institutions.

The allegations by predominantly male victims in the Jesuit investigation focus on 12 priests, six of whom are now deceased, from several schools and youth facilities in Germany. Solitary victims cited a further 32 church figures.

Though allegations of abuse in Jesuit schools surfaced in January, Dartmann admitted that Father Klaus Mertes, director of the Canisius Kolleg high school in Berlin, informed him about the problem in 2006.

Read the full report by Christopher Lawton here.

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Not only do Jesuits abuse small children, a Jesuit abused another Jesuit. California Jesuit Charles Connor abused Jesuit James Chevedden while Chevedden was recovering from an operation. Connor and a band of other Jesuits cost the Jesuit Order $7 million to settle an unrelated sex abuse case regarding disabled men. Connor’s friend, Jesuit Jerold Lindner with $2 million in sex abuse settlements on his record, was the last Jesuit to see Chevedden alive. Thomas Smolich was the Jesuit California Provincial at the time of Chevedden’s death.

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