German Catholic bishops sack head of independent sex abuse study

January 9, 2013

(Stephan Ackermann, Bishop of Trier attends a news conference on the launching of a telephone hotline for victims of sexual abuse, in south western German city of Trier March 30, 2010. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele.)

Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops sacked a criminologist studying sexual abuse of minors by their priests on Wednesday, prompting him to accuse them of trying to censor what was to be a major report on the scandals.

The independent study, examining church files sometimes dating back to 1945, was meant to shed light on undiscovered cases of abuse after about 600 people filed claims against molesting priests in 2010 following a wave of revelations there.

The German scandals were part of a series of abuse scandals that also shook the Catholic Church in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands and forced Pope Benedict to issue a public apology.

Bishop Stephan Ackermann, spokesman on abuse issues for the German Bishops Conference, said the hierarchy had lost confidence in the researcher, criminologist Christian Pfeiffer, and would look for another specialist to take up the study.

“We regret that this project … cannot be continued and we will have to find a new partner,” Ackermann said in a statement that blamed Pfeiffer’s “communications behaviour with church officials” for the breakdown.

Pfeiffer told German Radio the bishops wanted to change previously agreed guidelines for the project to include a final veto over publishing its results, which he could not accept.

“Everything was settled reasonably and then suddenly came … an attempt to turn the whole contract towards censorship and stronger control by the church,” said Pfeiffer, head of the Lower Saxony Criminological Research Institute.

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The pope is tightening the secrecy screws, as governments like Ireland and Australia, and soon likley the USA, close in on the worldwide Catholic priest abuse scandal.

The German Minister of Justice must now follow the strong examples of Ireland’s Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, and Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. How many more German children will need to be raped to get the German government to stop coddling the complicit German bishops?

Pope Ratzinger seems to be making fools of his countrymen, while defenseless children remain at risk.

For an explanation of the Pope’s diversionary strategy, please read, “A Taboo, a New Pope and a Truer Church”, available at ChristianCatholicism. com.

Posted by JerrySlevin | Report as abusive