Chronology

Students have been systematically abused for years at Jesuit-run schools in Germany. The abuse commissioner appointed by the order, Berlin lawyer Ursula Raue, will present a preliminary status of her investigations so far on Thursday. Below are some stages of the scandal since January 2010.



28. January: The head of Berlin's Canisius College, Father Klaus Mertes, publicly admits to seven previously known cases of abuse at the renowned Berlin Jesuit school between 1975 and 1983. Two priests are named as perpetrators. Because of other suspected victims, Mertes had previously sent a letter of apology to about 500 former students of the affected grades.
29. January: The Archdiocese of Berlin also admits to investigations of abuse against a former priest of the Catholic Holy Cross parish in Berlin-Hohenschonhausen. The incidents, which are said to have taken place in 2001, have been known to the archdiocese since the summer of 2009.
30. January: In a newspaper interview, Father Klaus Mertes takes a hard line with the Catholic Church. Suffers "from homophobia" and has distanced itself far from the real everyday life when it comes to the topic of sexuality.
1. February: The abuse scandal is spreading nationwide. The Jesuit Order announces that already 25 victims have come forward, among them 20 from the Berlin Canisius College, three in Hamburg and two in St. Blasien in the southern Black Forest. The two accused Fathers Peter R. and Wolfgang S. have not belonged to the order since the early 1990s, but have subsequently worked in other Catholic institutions in Germany and abroad. According to the order, Canisius College had been alerted to abuses by students as early as 1981. Order's leadership was aware of abuse cases no later than 1991.
2. February: The diocese of Hildesheim admits that Peter R. Was active in the diocese as a youth chaplain until 2003, among other things. Also here two cases of sexual assaults are known.
3. February: In Berlin, according to information of the Jesuit Order, another priest is investigated for abuse between 1976 and 1981. The priest also worked as a religion teacher at the Catholic Liebfrauen School. The Archdiocese of Berlin announces comprehensive clarification of the case.
5. February: The secretary of the German Bishops' Conference, Hans Langendorfer, promises that the Catholic Church will investigate all cases of sexual abuse by priests.
6. February: According to a survey by the news magazine "Spiegel" of all 27 German dioceses, 97 priests and laymen have been investigated for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church since 1995.
7. February: In the meantime, 30 former students of the Berlin Canisius College have reported to the abuse commissioner of the Jesuit order, Ursula Raue. In addition, there are up to ten other cases in Jesuit schools in Bonn, Hamburg and St. Blasien. It will also be known that in a book published in 2004, an ex-pupil has already described abuse by priests.
8. February: Pope Benedict XVI. condemns the acts as a violation of children's rights.
9. February: The director of the Aloisius College in Bonn, Father Theo Schneider, resigns from his office "in the interest of a complete clarification". Schneider is accused of complicity. The CDU politician Heiner Geibler, himself a pupil of the Jesuit College St. Blasien in Black Forest, calls for abolition of celibacy.
10. February: The Archdiocese of Berlin announces its intention to prevent sexual assaults at Catholic schools more intensively, among other things with supervisors.
12. February: Berlin Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky warns against placing the Catholic Church and its schools under general suspicion. The credibility of the many committed priests and educators must not be destroyed because of the guilt of individuals. At the same time he admits deficits in the clarification of abuse cases.
15. February: In an interview, Father Klaus Mertes ames a possible three-digit number of victims at the Canisius College in Berlin. The abuse commissioner of the Jesuit order, Ursula Raue, speaks of "clearly more than 100 cases". Not only Jesuit schools are affected, but also other Catholic institutions in Germany.
16. February: Augsburg Catholic Bishop Walter Mixa attributes abuse to the increasing sexualization of public life, which "encourages rather than limits abnormal sexual inclinations". From Mixa's point of view, priestly celibacy did not promote the acts.
18. February: The abuse commissioner of the Jesuit order, Ursula Raue, presents her interim report in Berlin. It speaks of at least 115 victims of abuse at German schools run by the Jesuit order, as well as other cases at other Catholic schools.The Catholic Bishop of Dresden-Meissen, Joachim Reinelt, calls the abuse cases a problem for society as a whole and not a purely Catholic problem.

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