Should possible compensation for victims of abuse in the Catholic Church also be paid out of church tax funds?? The Central Committee of German Catholics wants to take a position on this ie by the end of February.
ZdK President Thomas Sternberg told the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on Thursday at the same time, he thinks nothing of narrowing the debate about compensation to the funds needed for it. "I believe that the subject of abuse and guilt and the question of how to deal with these crimes will be dealt with completely inadequately if we discuss them only on the level of monetary payments."
Currently, the Catholic bishops in Germany are discussing a new procedure for compensation payments to victims of sexual abuse by clergymen. A working group proposed two models in September: a flat rate of about 300.000 euros per victim, or a graduated procedure in which, depending on the severity of the case, between 40.000 and 400.000 euros could be paid.
Funding is unclear. Most recently, several dioceses had opposed recourse to church tax funds, including Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Freiburg, Mainz and Limburg.
Calls for a "bishop's levy"?
From the ZdK there have been recent calls for a "bishop's levy". Vice President Claudia Lucking-Michel wrote in early December in the magazine "Publik-Forum": "A levy of all acting and emeritus (ordained) bishops will not cover the costs, but it would be a symbol." In addition, other church assets are to be looked at: "Episcopal chair, real estate, land, art treasures."
The spokesman for the "Eckiger Tisch" initiative, Matthias Katsch, recently said in "Der Spiegel": "We are waiting for the bishops' response to our proposals for fair compensation of up to 400.000 Euro per person. The dioceses and religious orders should pay into a fund for this purpose. It should be possible to use church tax funds for this as well." In KNA interview, Katsch urged early decision on the matter.