Shadow of a cross © Harald Oppitz (KNA)
Aachen diocese to work closely in future with independent pilot and counseling centers for victims of sexualized violence in the Catholic Church. Original files will be made available to the external processing of abuse.
Bishop Helmut This follows the recommendation of a working group, which they presented to speakers and representatives of the diocesan councils of the Aachen diocese, as the diocese announced yesterday, Friday. The working group is composed of a lawyer, a forensic psychiatrist, a victim protection officer, a personal victim of abuse and representatives of the diocese.
Two pillars model
The working group recommends a model consisting of two pillars. The first pillar of the model is formed by two supra-regional, independent pilot offices for initial orientation: the NRW victim protection commissioner in Cologne and the White Ring. For the second pillar, cooperations will be entered into with external counseling centers in all eight diocesan regions. The pilotage and counseling centers are independent of the Aachen diocese and are to act according to their own standards.
In addition to the independent contact points for those affected, the Aachen diocese will reportedly make all original files on sexual abuse available for external processing. The goal of the investigation by a law firm is to clarify the role of acting and former officials, chiefs of staff, bishops and vicars general, in addition to fact-finding, it said. Accordingly, in addition to examining the files, interviews are also being conducted with former and current responsible persons.