The Federal Government Commissioner for Abuse Demands Further Commitment from the Archdiocese of Cologne in the Clarification of Sexualized Violence. Overall, however, he sees the Catholic Church in a "pioneering role".
"The first suspensions are certainly an important step, but now it must become apparent to everyone in Cologne and outside that unjustified institutional protection is a thing of the past," Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig told the Kolnische Rundschau (Saturday). Absolute transparency" is necessary in the independent reappraisal that is now pending. "This involves dealing with those affected with respect and humility."
The Cologne law firm Gercke Wollschlager has well presented the limits of a legal reappraisal, said the Independent Representative for Questions of Sexual Child Abuse. However, it must also be clarified "what is not in the files". Rorig demanded: "The affected people should be taken into consideration, their physical and mental suffering, the rigorous and often heartless treatment of church authorities with the child victims."
Catholic Church in a "pioneering role"
Overall, however, he sees the Catholic Church in a "pioneering role," said the abuse commissioner. It was "important that other institutions do the same". The Protestant Church and Catholic religious orders are on the right track in this regard. There is still much to be done in schools and sports.
Cologne lawyer Bjorn Gercke on Thursday presented a legal opinion examining the diocese's handling of abuse cases between 1975 and 2018. The experts cited numerous breaches of duty and severely incriminated several bishops, including Woelki's late predecessor in office, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the auxiliary bishop of Cologne, Dominikus Schwaderlapp, and the current archbishop of Hamburg, Stefan Hebe.