Wurzburg's Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Helmut Bauer has apologized for beating students. "This action was wrong and I am sorry," Bauer wrote in a statement read at a press conference in Wurzburg on Thursday.
The diocese's representative for victims of sexual abuse and violence, Klaus Laubenthal, said that three victims had contacted him and made accusations against Bauer. According to their information, the beatings involved were "probably also administered with corporal punishment objects common at the time". Specifically, the accusations refer to the 1960s and 1970s. At the time, Bauer served as director of the Kilianeum Episcopal Seminary for Students in Bad Konigshofen and then in the same capacity at the Kilianeum Episcopal Seminary for Boys in Wurzburg until 1983. The emeritus auxiliary bishop himself could not remember "with the best of his knowledge and conscience" concrete acts, but gave credibility to those affected. He does not doubt "the representations of former students". Corporal punishment angebrac As an educator at the time, Bauer said he believed "corporal punishment" was appropriate as a pedagogical measure in certain cases. Despite the usual right of chastisement, as a priestly director of a boarding school he should not have carried out such chastisements "out of the spirit of the Gospel", writes the clergyman. The auxiliary bishop has already apologized to two people and offered them a meeting, Laubenthal said. A third victim, known by name to the diocesan commissioner, wished to remain anonymous to the former auxiliary bishop. Bauer, now 77, was auxiliary bishop in Wurzburg from 1988 to 2008. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1957, he first worked as a chaplain in a Schweinfurt parish. This was followed by his activities in the educational institutions of the diocese. In 1983, then Wurzburg Bishop Paul-Werner Scheele appointed him cathedral pastor and cathedral chaplain. Wurzburg abuse commissioner presents interim report Laubenthal also presented an interim report of his work on Thursday. More than 54 reports of sexual abuse and violence have been received by the Diocese of Wurzburg in the past six weeks. 13 cases refer to religious orders, others to other dioceses or even to the non-ecclesiastical sphere. According to Laubenthal, the public prosecutor's office is dealing with five cases that directly concern the diocese. One of them refers to a priest who has already been convicted of a crime, as well as to the self-disclosure of a priest, about which the diocese informed the public last Friday. According to the lawyer, most of the reports of incidents at religious orders refer to a seminary of the Augustinian Order in Munnerstadt. Alleged victims had reported massive physical abuse, in which a sexual connection could not be ruled out. In one accusation, there was also talk of blows to naked genitals. In addition, there is another report concerning a Franciscan Minorite (76), which refers to his time in the Rhineland. The diocesan commissioner reported that more than two-thirds of those affected in the incidents already evaluated were male. Nearly 63 percent of the accusations involved sex-related acts, he said. One-third of the cases allegedly occurred in the 1960s, and another 20 percent in the 1950s. There are no reports from the past ten years.