Global

Germany’s young Catholics demand change following report on abuse

Written by The Frontier Post

DUSSELDORF (dpa): An organization of young German Catholics demanded change on Saturday, as the Church grapples with an explosive report detailing decades of alleged sexual abuse, misconduct and cover-ups.
New people and new structures are needed, according to the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ), which insisted that business could not be permitted to simply continue as usual.
A serious reappraisal is necessary, according to Gregor Podschun, who chairs the BDKJ, the umbrella organization of Catholic youth associations in Germany. He said the aim should not be to restore the credibility of the Church, which would protect existing power structures, but to prevent suffering in future.
The report was issued on Thursday after a law firm tasked by the archdiocese of Munich and Freising to investigate abuse counted at least 497 victims and 235 alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse between 1945 and 2019.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who stepped down as pontiff in 2013, is one of three German cardinals accused of inaction when made aware of sexual abuse allegations and of a cover-up aimed at protecting the Church’s reputation.
As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he served as the archbishop of Munich and Freising between 1977 and 1982.
Ratzinger and his immediate successor, Friedrich Wetter, are both accused of direct and personal misconduct in the report, though neither is alleged to have commited abuse.

About the author

The Frontier Post