Commitment against abuse

Commitment against abuse

Matthias Katsch © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)

Corner Table spokesman Matthias Katsch and Jesuit priest Klaus Mertes will receive the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on Thursday for their services in combating abuse against children.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presents the two men with the award. Katsch was one of three former students who approached the then principal of Berlin's Canisius College, Jesuit Father Klaus Mertes, in January 2010 and told him about abuse at the school in the 1970s and '80s.

Leading the way to reappraisal

The abuse scandal became public after a letter from Mertes to former students. Both men were subsequently committed to addressing abuse in churches and other institutions and taking preventive action.

Katsch founded a network for victims with the Eckiger Tisch and is currently involved in the Independent Commission for the Reappraisal of Sexual Abuse. He is currently running for the SPD for the Bundestag.

Mertes was most recently head of the College of St. Blasien in the southern Black Forest and is currently on sabbatical leave. Afterwards he wants to go into pastoral care. He published numerous articles on the subject of abuse.

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