Church must remain “strong voice

Church must remain 'strong voice

According to Rhineland-Palatinate's Minister President Malu Dreyer, the topic of sexual abuse must be dealt with as a matter of urgency in German dioceses. Trust must be regained, he said, to continue to provide guidance.

Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) said Tuesday evening in Mainz that this should be the case “in all dioceses,” Dreyer said at the Martin Reception of the Catholic Office in Mainz. The “perspective of the victims” must come first, he said.

Maintaining a strong voice in society

Dreyer expressed “great shock” at results of abuse study presented in September. There is now a need for “a real change of mentality within the church in order to regain trust. The Catholic Church needs this trust in order to “remain a strong voice in society,” especially in a “time of disorientation.”.

Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz believes internal church reforms are inevitable. This and a critical self-reflection are "bitterly necessary" to regain lost trust and damaged credibility, he said. He did not give any concrete examples of reforms.

"Eyes opened"

The German Bishops' Conference's abuse commissioner, Trier Bishop Stephan Ackermann, said the study presented in September had "opened the eyes" of the bishops about "systemic factors" of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In order to investigate this, the Bishops' Conference has undertaken "a thick work program", which is now being consistently worked through. Referring to prosecutors, Ackermann promised "full cooperation". (CBA)

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