Bishop Voderholzer © CBA
Regensburg Cathedral Boys' Choir © Domspatzen
Another body of talks has been set up to deal with the beating and abuse cases at the Regensburg Cathedral Boys' Choir. The round is apparently intended to develop proposals to avoid such incidents in the future.
The panel includes three victims' representatives and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, among others, the diocese announced on its website Tuesday evening. A larger board of trustees to investigate the allegations had met for the first time in early February. It is directed by the lawyer Ulrich Weber, who is entrusted by the diocese with an investigation.
Hundreds of cases of physical and sexual violence occurred at the world-famous choir between 1953 and 1992. Weber puts the number of known cases of beating and abuse at 231, and of sexual abuse at 62. According to him, the number of unreported cases is much higher. In an interim report a few weeks ago, the lawyer spoke of a "system of fear" that had prevailed for decades in the preschool as well as in the Domspatzen boarding school.
First meeting "constructive and trusting"
The committee, which has now been established, has set itself the goal of further "processing," the diocese announced. It also includes cathedral conductor Roland Buchner, the director of the Domspatzen boarding school, Rainer Schinko, and mediators Andreas Heintz and Horst Bohm. According to their statements, representatives of the victims are Michael Sieber, Peter Muller and Peter Schmitt. The first meeting was constructive and took place in a "climate of trusting cooperation," according to the statement.
On Tuesday evening, the website of the victims' representatives said about the distribution of tasks of the appointed committees: "While attorney Weber exclusively takes care of the clarification (among other things, talks with abuse victims, differentiated statistics about the number of victims and acts), the processing of the abuse cases is in the hands of the processing committee, which elaborates concrete measures."
The accusations raised by ex-domestic soldiers range from beatings, psychological violence, deprivation of food or force-feeding to sexual assaults ranging from "fondling" to rape. In the past few weeks alone, several dozen other possible victims have come forward. The victims known so far received as a "symbolic recognition of the suffering" each 2.500 euros. In addition, the costs for therapies are covered.