“We want to set a symbol for the guilt”

Compensation figures of up to 80.000 euros for abuse victims in institutions of the Jesuits will not exist. Provincial Father Kiechle SJ rejected corresponding demands of a victim initiative in our site interview back.



It is a criticism with which we have naturally reckoned. Whereas some say the payment is too low, others say it is too high. There are also some victims who do not really want money, but are looking for other ways to reconcile and come to peace.
Through conversations, through other symbols, perhaps also through a therapeutic work. Some don't want money, some want some money and some want a lot of money.
To these demands of 80.000 euros we can not and do not want to accommodate. On the one hand, according to our research, the number is not correct at all. It is said that this is an average number of such compensation payments that have been awarded by the courts. In our opinion, these are normally much lower figures. The second thing is, we don't want to compensate suffering with money, we just want to set a symbol for the guilt that was there, that we recognize it. And such symbols, that is something different than a sum of money that wants to pay off something.
Many victims are already known to us. A small, informal request is sufficient and we will not check it very much, but where it is already known, we will take care of it very quickly and pay it out. This is not a major problem. There are other victims that we are not yet aware of and there we will look at the application a little more closely, whether the information is at all credible and whether it all fits. We must also avoid that a lot of free riders "jump on it" and also want to have money.
First of all, we have taken our responsibility seriously and want to do what we now consider appropriate with this amount and with this approach for us. If other church institutions or even non-church institutions think this is a model, that's fine with us. But that is not our first intention, we first want to do our work for us, so to speak.
This is supposed to be a prevention fund for the whole church and into which many church institutions then pay a contribution, both the dioceses and possibly the religious orders. So it could be that we participate in it. More details have to be discussed.

First we wait. The Bishops' Conference is still discussing this ie with the payments and when the Bishops' Conference itself is further along and also develops a model of how this is to be implemented in concrete terms, then we will get involved and tackle this in concrete terms.

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