Friday, January 11, 2013

German Bishops Cancel Study Into Sexual Abuse by Priests

Motivated by apparent fears as to the horrific picture that would be painted of the Church - especially the obstruction of justice and cover ups orchestrated by the bishops and, of course, the Vatican, Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops on Wednesday canceled a study into the sexual abuse of minors by priests.  God forbid that more of the public and the sheeple still in the pews in Germany come to understand the full scope of the moral cesspool that is the Church hierarchy.  The reality is that the only way that the scope of the Church's crimes will ever be known is for government criminal investigations to go forward.  Whether or not politicians have the courage to take on the Church, however, remains a troubling question.  Here are highlights from the New York Times on events in Germany:

Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops on Wednesday canceled a study into the sexual abuse of minors by priests, prompting the investigator to accuse them of trying to censor what was to be a major report on the scandals. 

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

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

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

Officials made “an attempt to turn the whole contract towards censorship and stronger control by the church,” said Mr. Pfeiffer, head of the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony. 

One lay Catholic organization, known as the International Movement We Are Church, called the decision “a devastating signal for the credibility of the church leadership” that showed the bishops could not accept an independent inquiry into the scandals. The German justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, said that the church’s effort to clear up the scandals should not end in “a halfhearted inventory.” 
“It’s high time that the Catholic Church opened up and let outside experts look at its archives,” she told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
A commission set up by the Belgian church received 475 reports of abuse before its premises were raided in 2010 by the police seeking evidence for possible criminal cases against predator priests. It reported 13 victims had been driven to suicide.  

Speaking to German Radio, Bishop Ackermann said the bishops feared that Mr. Pfeiffer would publish results without their permission. 

The criminals in the Church hierarchy need to be exposed and rather than kissing the pompous asses of the bishops - both in Germany and in America - elected officials should be pushing for government controlled criminal investigations into the Church and the rampant sexual abuse of minors that was not only allowed to occur, but in some cases aid and abetted, and most certainly covered up by the Church leadership.  These bishops have no standing to be making any pronouncements on moral issue and a good number likely deserve to be behind bars.

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