Youth revolt: The Catholic youth umbrella organization BDKJ says the efforts of the German Bishops' Conference in coming to terms with abuse do not go far enough. In some cases, he said, people were even "shocked and disappointed".
The seven-point plan adopted by the bishops is "not even close" to being sufficient, BDKJ Chairman Thomas Andonie told the Internet portal www on Tuesday.church-and-life.de in Munster. "There are no commitments and no timetable in this," he criticized.
Shocked and disappointed
Among a few bishops, he does see the desired commitment, Andonie conceded. He was shocked and disappointed, however, that even eight years after the abuse scandal in the church came to light, some bishops seem to have put the ie behind them by expressing their condolences.
At their fall meeting, the bishops had presented a study on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church from 1946 to 2014. The bishops then presented a seven-point list of measures to be taken. In it, they announce, among other things, increased participation of abuse victims in the independent processing of what happened.
They also want to standardize the keeping of their personnel files to make cover-ups more difficult. A "transparent discussion process" with external experts is to be dedicated to questions around celibacy and the sexual morality of the church.
Rethinking the power structure within the church?
The chairman of the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ) demanded that the inner-church power structure be reconsidered and, if necessary, changed to prevent abuse. The Vatican also has "some explaining to do," said Andoni, who attended the Synod on Youth in Rome in early October.
"If area-wide perpetrators were transferred instead of being held accountable, as the abuse study of the German Bishops' Conference points out, I can't imagine that no one in Rome knew about it," Andonie said.
Referring to the discussions on partnership and marriage held during the Youth Synod, Andoni spoke of a "missed opportunity".
Many bishops limited themselves only to marriage. Other forms of partnership met with "sometimes strong aversion". This may have to do with the bishops only looking at sexuality in a relationship, the BDKJ president said. "In doing so, they fail to see all the good that makes these diverse relationships a treasure."(KNA)