It was probably the immediate effects of the abuse scandal in the catholic church that caused the german bishops to show remorse in a first shock reaction. Not only remorse, there should even be a comprehensive reappraisal of the scandal. Under the pressure of public opinion and numerous church resignations, it was necessary to act quickly to regain lost credibility and limit the damage as much as possible. That was in the summer of 2011. In the meantime, one and a half years have passed, and some bishops have obviously changed their minds. You may have internalized the dangers of giving an independent scientific body access to all personnel files from the past ten years. In the first rush, nine bishops even wanted to trace the investigation back to 1945. Yes for heaven’s sake!
If anything is surprising, it is the fact that it took so long for some bishops to become afraid of their own courage and to retreat. Especially in munich, you have to know what an independent investigation can mean. In the local archdiocese, a jurist had taken a closer look at the personnel files. As a result, they identified nine times more abuse traps than were known to the abuse commissioner of the bishopric. Apparently not all diocesan leaders want to take such a risk anymore.
The accusation made in this context by the criminological research institute of lower saxony that there is evidence of the destruction of files fits into the picture. So it’s business as usual in the catholic church. Possible perpetrators are protected, the victims are told to submit to their fate.
A dangerous thought. The pope agrees.
Benedict XVI. Has it long been clear how destructive the sexual misconduct of the clergy can be?. 200 cardinals, bishops and scientists now discussed in rome possible ways out of the crisis. The bishops’ conferences are to develop guidelines and prevention concepts worldwide. But what good is all this if there is no will to put such resolutions into practice?? Because some bishops are stonewalling. And so child abusers and other perpetrators of sexual violence were allowed to continue to feel safe.