“Message also to us in germany”

Church representatives welcome the clear words of Pope Benedict XVI. on the abuse scandal in Ireland. The German Bishops' Conference also sees the letter itself as a warning. The German chancellor also ames "universal" significance.

Pope Benedict XVI. wrote the letter as shepherd of the universal church, said government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm on Monday in Berlin. What he says applies universally. The pope has clearly condemned the abuse of children and young people, as well as the church's handling of the cases and the perpetrators, Wilhelm said.The chancellor welcomed the fact that the pope openly addressed ies of reparation and prevention, Wilhelm said. Victims and society need "truth and clarity" in coming to terms with it, he said. For the internal church handling of the cases in Germany, the Chancellor attaches particular importance to the declaration of the Freising Bishops' Conference, the government spokesman said.

Zollitsch: Valid for the whole Kirc The pastoral letter to Irish Catholics contains clear directives to the entire church, the president of the German bishops' conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, said Saturday in Freiburg. "What he tells them has validity for the whole Church and is clearly a message also to us in Germany."Without any ifs or buts, the pope condemned the terrible crimes committed by priests and religious against young people.His unsparing analysis shows that the Holy Father faces the problem of sexual abuse with seriousness and with great concern, the archbishop said. The head of the church gives priority to the perspective of the victims. That is why Benedict criticized "the sometimes excessive protection of offenders that the church has often practiced"."I am particularly moved by the Pope's clear words to priests and religious who have sinned," Zollitsch said. They have violated the trust of young people in the worst way and must answer to God and the courts.Zollitsch stressed that the Catholic Church in Germany must also not repeat mistakes. A complete clarification of the cases of abuse in German Catholic educational institutions is necessary. "Therefore, I understand the Pope's admonition to the bishops in Ireland at the same time as an admonition to us as well."The scandal of sexual abuse is not just an Irish problem: "It is a scandal of the church in many places, and it is the scandal of the church in Germany."The Bishops' Conference's commissioner for abuse, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, also said that the letter's "fundamental statements also apply to us in Germany, indeed worldwide". As examples, Ackermann cites the unequivocal condemnation of sexual abuse as a crime, the call to openly admit misdemeanors and mistakes, and open criticism of any false concern for the reputation of the Church.

Ireland's church sees pope's letter as important step Irish church leaders welcomed pope's letter. Irish Primate Cardinal Sean Brady spoke Saturday in Armagh of a historic day for the country's Catholics. He Be Benedict XVI. very grateful for his deep kindness and concern. Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin described the letter as a step in the Church in Ireland's process toward renewal and healing.

ZDK president: Can also help German church According to the Central Committee of German Catholics(ZdK), the letter also has significance for Germany. ZdK President Alois Gluck called the letter in Bonn on Saturday an "impressive document that can also help the Catholic Church in Germany to draw the right consequences". The pope deals concretely with the situation in Ireland with an "almost relentlessly open language". At the same time, however, the pastoral letter is "a helpful orientation for the entire universal church". Among the important criteria for further deliberations in Germany, Gluck mentions the selection of candidates for the priesthood, transparency and openness, the need for cooperation with the state, and an ongoing review of existing guidelines. "With this letter, Pope Benedict once again takes an exemplary and clear stand for the uncompromising clarification of sexual abuse and just as unequivocally for the victims," said Gluck.

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