Framework regulations for all facilities

Framework regulations for all facilities

In response to the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, the Catholic bishops presented a comprehensive concept for the prevention of sexual abuse in Fulda on Thursday. The "Framework for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse" formulates expectations that Catholic institutions working in children's and youth work nationwide should take into account in the selection and further training of their personnel.

The concept is also to be integrated into priestly training. It is a matter of preventing abuse from becoming possible in the first place, said the abuse commissioner of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, to journalists at the bishops' fall plenary meeting. Transparent structures and clear responsibilities must be created for this purpose. At the end of August, the bishops had already presented more stringent "guidelines for dealing with sexual abuse," which concern how to deal with perpetrators and the involvement of the judiciary. Despite some criticism of the details, they had received praise from politicians and experts.

Among other things, the new prevention concept stipulates that each of the
27 dioceses to set up an office to deal with prevention ies. An extended police certificate of good conduct is required for full-time and part-time employees in children's and youth work, and volunteers are to sign a declaration of commitment.

An appropriate proximity-distance relationship
Church institutions should develop rules of conduct for an appropriate proximity-distance relationship and respectful interaction between staff and the children and young people in their care. The concept requires church employers to ie service instructions and in-house regulations for the protection of children and adolescents that are also binding under labor law. Dioceses, church institutions and associations are urged to establish counseling and complaint channels for children and young people, guardians and employees.

After the storm of the abuse scandal, which has shaken the church and the bishops to the core, the Bishops' Conference sees the prevention concept as a building block for regaining trust. The catalog of measures could well be a pioneer for other social groups as well, said the president of the bishops' conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch. This also shows the great public interest in the concept, she said.

No mention of concrete compensation payments
On another homework assignment, the bishops in Fulda were not ready to let their guard down yet. For weeks, victims' groups, but also the Federal Government Commissioner for Abuse, Christine Bergmann, have been building up prere for the Church to commit to concrete compensation payments. But that is precisely what Zollitsch and Ackermann did not do, even though they again expressed a willingness to make financial contributions: The church does not want to rush ahead and thereby put prere on other social groups, said the Archbishop of Freiburg. Ackermann warned against "aggravation on the compensation terminals". This tendency would bring new polarizations instead of pacification.

Zollitsch announced instead that the church wants to make a more far-reaching proposal for the support of the victims at the meeting of the round table of the federal government next week. According to Zollitsch, the church has developed an assistance model from various elements. It is a matter of supporting victims in "overcoming their victimhood and gaining new strength," he said. "We are by no means closing our minds to a comprehensive concept of help."

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