“Another important step toward transparent reappraisal”

Sexual abuse in the church © Julian Stratenschulte

After publication of the study on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, the archdiocese of Hamburg handed over documents to the public prosecutors in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

In Schleswig ten, in Rostock one personnel file had been handed over, the archdiocese announced in Hamburg on Thursday.

Thus, "all relevant files on possible cases of abuse by clergy" had been made available. Both authorities confirmed receipt of the documents on request. They would now be examined.

Important step towards transparency

The prosecutors general had requested the files after the publication of the study, as it was said. Investigators in Rostock would have asked only for the documents that were found after the 30. concerning children born in June 1985.

Only in these cases is a prosecution still possible, a spokeswoman justified. "The handover of the files to the public prosecutors is another important step in the transparent processing of sexual abuse in our church," said Hamburg's Archbishop Stefan Hebe.

Sexual abuse in what is now the archdiocese of Hamburg

In the context of the study on sexual abuse presented by the German bishops at the end of September were in the church files of the years 1946 to 2014 references to nationwide 3.677 victims of sexual assault and to around 1.670 accused priests, deacons and religious have been found.

In the territory of the present Archdiocese of Hamburg, 103 accused persons and 33 accused priests were recorded.

Handing over files to authorities

The archdiocese, which was only newly founded in 1995, covers the German states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg.

According to its own information, it has also offered to hand over files to the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Hamburg. However, there is no feedback yet.

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