“Good hope that this will go ahead”

Are there legal reforms? Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg has held out the prospect of changes to church law in dealing with sexual abuse. Schick described the introduction of inter-diocesan criminal courts as certain.

He expressed his views in an interview with the Catholic weekly newspaper "Die Tagespost". This already exists in other areas. For example, he said, all second instances for marriage proceedings are located at the archbishoprics.

First a matter for the secular judiciary

In the ecclesiastical treatment of abuse cases, more precision, clarity, bindingness and also speed are required. All offenses and crimes are first a matter for the secular justice system, with which the Church wants to cooperate fully, the archbishop stressed.

However, he said that what should be done after civil proceedings in an ecclesiastical criminal trial and then in disciplinary proceedings should be "better clarified in terms of ecclesiastical law". To this end, he would submit to the Bishops' Conference "some proposals on which there must be votes". Schick added that he was "hopeful that this will go forward.".

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