Little involvement of those affected

Little involvement of those affected

Symbolic image of abuse © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)

In Bavaria, the participation of victims in the processing of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is not the best everywhere. Several commissions now want to get started anyway.

The processing of sexualized violence suffers in several Catholic dioceses in Bavaria from a lack of participation by those affected. This was the result of a survey by the Catholic News Agency (KNA). According to the report, in Passau, Bamberg and Eichstatt there are no or not enough interested parties for an advisory board for those affected. This affects the start of the work of the commissions, for which two victims are needed.

They are actually to be appointed by an advisory board formed from this group of people.

This is what the agreement of the German Bishops' Conference with the Federal Government Commissioner for Abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig, of last spring provides for. Although an advisory board is not mandatory, it is considered the preferred form of participation.

Only two interested parties in Passau

In Passau, only two interested parties have come forward since an appeal by Bishop Stefan Oster more than three months ago. Needed at least five. According to a diocesan spokeswoman, in order to nevertheless be able to start with the processing commission, the two were asked to participate in this body. This is to take up its work, "as soon as the pandemic situation permits it".

The situation is similar in the archdiocese of Bamberg. There, too, according to diocesan spokesman Harry Luck, "not enough affected persons have been found who would be willing to participate in an affected persons' advisory board. They preferred to have individual conversations."For this reason, the two affected persons' representatives for the processing commission "were selected in consultation with the abuse commissioner.". On 25. The commission is to meet for the first time in February.

The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising feels bound by the procedure agreed with Rorig: first form the victims' advisory council, then the processing commission. The advisory board is to be constituted by the end of April. Here, too, it looked at times as if there would not be enough feedback.

In Eichstatt, Vicar General Michael Huber on Monday once again expressly invited those affected to participate in the advisory board and the processing commission. So far, it has not been possible in talks to win over interested parties for one of the two committees, a diocese spokeswoman explained in response to a question. But Huber insists: "Only with this perspective can we properly assess abuse and understand where we need to change structures to strengthen prevention."

In Augsburg it will be the same, according to reports: Eight affected persons have signed up for the advisory board. Five of them will be selected by the processing commission. The advisory board, in turn, will then send two members from its ranks to the commission, which, then in its complete composition, is to start no later than Easter.

Some feel ignored

In Wurzburg, those affected, who had already met several times at the invitation of Bishop Franz Jung, expressed the wish in 2020 to continue as an advisory board. Jung initially thought this was a good idea. But then protests were voiced from the circle of those affected.

Some felt ignored. Thereupon, in January, the bishop called for an invitation to tender in the form provided for in a framework regulation that the German Bishops' Conference had decided on with the federal abuse commissioner in October 2020.

Applications are still accepted in Wurzburg up to 10. March accepted. Those affected are to receive a lump sum of 700 euros per month for their efforts. This would cover two full-day meetings as well as preparatory and follow-up work.

In the diocese of Regensburg, the participation of those affected has already proven its worth in dealing with abuse and mistreatment at the Domspatzen. According to a diocesan spokesman, talks are currently being held with the federal abuse commissioner on whether and how the existing structures need to be adapted to meet the standards agreed with the Bishops' Conference.

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