A table for all

According to Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German government only wants to set up a round table on the cases of abuse. Chancellor Merkel calls for "full truth". Meanwhile, the church admits "cover-up" and does not rule out compensation for opera.

The minister told the Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung on Wednesday that she thought it was a good idea to "bundle the entire process of coming to terms with the cases of abuse". "We are currently in talks within the federal government to find a solution as quickly as possible, perhaps as early as 23. April, to be able to start with a broad-based committee."Prevention, clarification, compensation for victims and legal policy consequences could be discussed there," the FDP politician said. Previously, it was planned that Federal Family Minister Kristina Schroder (CDU) on 23. The minister of justice wanted to set up a round table that would deal primarily with questions of compensation. Praise for the church The minister praised the Catholic Church's handling of the abuse scandal in recent weeks: "A broad debate has begun that shows a willingness to change."According to her impression, there has been a lot of movement in the Catholic Church. "My appeal for more openness has already been taken up. Archbishop Reinhard Marx has made precisely this his theme."With a "sympathetic openness", many things are being questioned in the Catholic Church, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told the newspaper.The justice minister also brought up the idea of a nationwide hotline for victims of abuse, along the lines of the AIDS helpline. "A central contact point with qualified experts from the Child Protection League or other aid organizations would certainly be a gain."For those affected, this could be a help in disclosing themselves more easily.

Merkel: Abuse must not be dealt with only in the church Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has confirmed that the three ministers Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), Kristina Kohler and Annette Schavan (both CDU) have agreed to jointly form a "discussion forum" to come to terms with the past. The victims should participate in this as well as those institutions "from which cases of abuse become known.". This forum should look into the past as well as into the future.Merkel called the processing of the abuse cases a challenge to the whole society. The first cases that had become known had come from the area of the Catholic Church. But it makes no sense to limit the ie to one group, Merkel warned in the Bundestag on Wednesday. Such cases have occurred in many areas of society and are still occurring today, sometimes in a different form, but with the same consequences. The head of government condemned abuse of children as a "despicable crime". Now it applies to put truth and clarity over everything. She called it right to think about compensation. Nevertheless, there can be no total reparations. What happened accompanies the victims throughout their lives. That's why the most important thing today is for victims to feel accepted by society. The chancellor warned against making the process of coming to terms with the abuse "too easy" and limiting it to legal ies such as the statute of limitations or compensation. All in all, "and this is a test for our entire society", it is important that people who have experienced something like this "feel recognized and respected again in our society". That, at least, is a piece of reparation that can be made in retrospect. Church willing in principle to pay compensation According to the head of the Catholic Office at the Federal Government, Prelate Karl Justen, the church is in principle prepared to make compensation payments to victims of abuse. "In principle, the church acknowledges its responsibility to help people," Justen told ARD's Morgenmagazin on Wednesday. Currently, the German Bishops' Conference is discussing how to help those affected, also materially. First of all, it is the perpetrators themselves who have a responsibility. In the case of monks, the religious congregations are also in demand.

Ackermann admits cover-up of abuse cases According to Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, the Catholic Church has prevented a much earlier clarification of sexual abuse cases through false considerations. "Where there was really no will to clear up and perpetrators were simply transferred, we have to admit in a whole series of cases that there was a cover-up," the Catholic Church's commissioner for the clarification of sexual abuse told the "Rhein-Zeitung" (Wednesday edition).The bishop explained that he sees the question of guilt less with the church as an institution, but rather "with the perpetrators and with those who as superiors have not lived up to their responsibility".He was optimistic about the chance to deal with the abuse cases quickly: "We will have clarified our guidelines and compensation this year," he told the newspaper. He said that financial support is only part of the compensation: "The recognition of injustice must also do justice to these people. We don't want to buy ourselves off by paying certain sums," the bishop said.

"One does an injustice to the pope" At the same time, Ackermann defended the pope against criticism that he had not found a clear word on the abuse cases. "One does the pope an injustice if one gives the impression that he is not clear on this ie," Ackermann said. So the pope had encouraged the president of the bishops' conference, Robert Zollitsch, in his chosen path of enlightenment.In turn, Ackermann does not consider the discussion about the abolition of celibacy to be beneficial: "A sexual disorder is earlier fixed. It is not triggered by a promise made by an adult man," the bishop argued.

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