“Appropriate”

The Vatican has welcomed the convening of a roundtable on child abuse by Family Minister Kristina Schroder. "The Church is, of course, ready to take part in this and to work for it," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Tuesday.

The ie must be dealt with "in a complex and appropriate way" that does not limit investigations into child abuse to church institutions, he said.The Vatican spokesman called sexual assaults on minors in the church "particularly reprehensible" because of their moral and educational function. Those who are "objective and informed," however, know that the phenomenon also exists in other areas of society. "To focus the allegations solely on the Church leads to a false perspective," the Vatican spokesman stressed, referring to a majority of cases in non-church institutions that came to light in a recent Austrian investigation.Against the backdrop of accusations by German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) that the Catholic Church is not cooperating sufficiently with the authorities, Lombardi thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for her recognition. The latter had rightly certified the church's "seriousness and constructiveness" in its efforts to clear up the pedophilia cases.In response to the abuse cases in German schools, the Federal Family Ministry and the Federal Education Ministry announced a round table on Monday. It is to be presented for the first time on 23. Meeting on April to address prevention ies in particular. The Ministry of Justice, on the other hand, wants to convene its own round table with representatives of the Catholic Church; this is rejected by the German Bishops' Conference because it is not a specific problem of the Catholic Church.The Vatican spokesman stressed that the main church institutions had reacted "in a timely and decisive manner to the emergence of the problem.". They would have "in a certain sense accelerated" the emergence of the scandal by calling on victims of even long-ago abuse cases to report them. Moreover, according to the Vatican spokesman, the bishops' conferences concerned are considering revising their national guidelines. Thus, new strategies of prevention would be developed in order to do everything possible to prevent similar serious acts from happening again.Moreover, the Vatican spokesman defended the guidelines adopted by the Vatican in 2001 in dealing with sexual abuse by clerics. In the context of canon law, this counts as one of the most serious offenses. The guidelines adopted under the impression of the abuse scandals in the U.S. church are "wrongly blamed as the cause of an alleged culture of silence," he stressed in light of statements made by the federal justice minister. Rather, the guidelines of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would have alerted the bishops to the seriousness of the phenomenon and given impetus to draft their own rules.

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