66 German Priests Accused of Sex Abuse
Germany’s Roman Catholic church has revealed that at least 66 clergy had been accused of sexually abusing children and adults during a 10-year period, with most of the victims male.
The findings were part of a scientific study ordered after the church was thrown into crisis two years ago when hundreds came forward alleging they had been abused as minors between the 1950s and 80s.
Based on dozens of expert appraisals of Catholic clergy from between 2000 and 2010 submitted by 21 of Germany’s 27 dioceses, it said the clergy had been accused of 576 cases of sexual abuse.
Three-quarters of the 265 alleged targets of abuse were male, the German Bishops’ Conference said, on Friday releasing the report drawn up by three forensic centres for research.
Most of the cases took place between the 1960s and 90s “in a period when a different social awareness and a lower sensitivity to the theme of sexual acts on children and youths still prevailed”, Norbert Leygraf, of the Institute of Forensic Psychiatry at Duisburg-Essen University, said in a statement.
“Understanding has changed in the course of the years both within the Catholic church as well as in society as a whole - today the focus is the greatest possible transparency and effort for quick clarification of cases of abuse,” he said.