Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers calls for a more in-depth discussion of spiritual abuse in the Catholic Church. "As the German Bishops' Conference, we will not be able to avoid addressing this ie more intensively".
So writes Timmerevers in a statement published Monday on the platform catholic.de published guest article. At the same time, it is important to sensitize Catholics at all levels to the topic. Spiritual abuse is understood to mean actions that build up power relationships or emotional dependencies in the context of pastoral care in parishes or spiritual guidance of religious.
Sometimes, according to experts, there is an intersection with sexual abuse. A virtual conference on the subject will be held Thursday and Friday at the Catholic Academy in Dresden.
Clarification at all levels
On the institutional level, it would be appropriate to discuss the creation of standardized mechanisms for reporting, documentation, processing and compensation, analogous to the handling of cases of sexual abuse, Timmerevers said. In particular, the mediation and financing of psychological care for those affected would have to be strengthened and counseling services expanded.
Moreover, the Bishop of Dresden-Meiben pleads for thinking about additions to the ecclesiastical penal and labor laws.
Those affected encouraged Timmerevers to tell of their experiences and report acts. "People who criticize vulnerable pastoral relationships and structures in the space of the church perform an important service for the church."