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.