Proven outside help: After new abuse allegations against former bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen, the diocese of Hildesheim again wants to seek advice from the Munich Institute for Practical Research and Project Consulting.
"The idea is that the Munich Institute for Practical Research and Project Consulting (IPP) will help us, among other things, to put together an external group of experts who will take over the reappraisal," said diocese spokesman Volker Bauerfeld on Tuesday when asked by the Catholic News Agency (KNA).
The institute should also advise on the formulation of the research assignment. An exploratory meeting is planned for mid-January. "The IPP has good previous experience in clearing up sexualized violence in church institutions and also already knows the structures here in the diocese," Bauerfeld reasoned.
Accusations against Bishop Janssen
In mid-November, the diocese made public the accusations of a man now in his mid-70s. The former resident of a church children's home reported that Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen (1907-1988) asked him to strip naked in front of him in the late 1950s. Subsequently, he had sent him away with the words that he could not use him.
The man described further acts of abuse by teachers and clergy in the former Hildesheim children's homes Bernwardshof and Johannishof. According to his information, he was brought to the bishop and picked up again by the priest who was in charge of Bernwardshof. The two institutions will now be completely reviewed, Bauerfeld announced.
The IPP had already been commissioned by the diocese two years ago with an expert opinion on several cases of abuse within the diocese.
Serious omissions in processing
Previously, a former altar boy had contacted the diocese of Hildesheim and reported that Janssen had sexually abused him between 1958 and 1963. The IPP expert opinion could neither prove nor refute the accusations. However, the authors accused the diocese of serious failures in the processing of sexual abuse.
Hildesheim's new bishop Heiner Wilmer had recently repeatedly spoken out for a "relentless clarification of cases of sexual abuse". He showed himself willing to allow outsiders to inspect church files as well. End of October handed over documents to the responsible public prosecutor's office. At that time, six investigative proceedings were initiated.