Former diocese leadership to be questioned

Former diocese leadership to be questioned

Abuse researchers in Mecklenburg want to question diocese leadership © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

The processing of abuse cases in the Catholic church of Mecklenburg progresses. Investigators plan to question former diocese leaders this year.

An employee of the University of Ulm has begun to sift through the personnel files of about 200 Catholic priests who worked in the region between 1945 and 1989, without suspicion, as the Archdiocese of Hamburg announced Thursday. In addition, seven interviews with those affected have been arranged so far. The former diocese management is to be questioned before the end of this year, it was said after a meeting of the advisory board accompanying the project on Thursday in Schwerin.

Reappraisal in the Catholic Church in Mecklenburg

Archbishop Stefan Hebe had set up the committee in 2018 to deal with sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Mecklenburg. The advisory board commissioned scientists from the University of Ulm with a two-year research project. The reappraisal, led by psychiatrist Manuela Dudeck, covers the period from 1945 to 1989.

Because Dudeck received the research assignment, she resigned from the accompanying advisory board, as the archdiocese further announced. Its successor is Carsten Spitzer, director of the Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapeutic Medicine in Rostock.

Particularly many cases of abuse in the region

The abuse study published in 2018 by the German Bishops' Conference had registered a particularly large number of cases of sexual violence in the Mecklenburg part of the archdiocese of Hamburg. According to the study, 17 priests are known to have committed acts of abuse against 54 children and young people. One of the main suspects is priest Hermann-Josef Timmerbeil, who died in 1979 and led the parish of Neubrandenburg between 1946 and 1975.

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