“Understand the demands well”

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, Archbishop of Cologne © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)

"At least a minimum of justice is at stake": Archbishop Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki has promised abuse victims that he will bring their views to the deliberations on compensation and recognition payments.

The archbishop told this site on Sunday that he had received a letter from the victims' advisory council in the archdiocese of Cologne, in which victims of abuse have organized themselves, and had then spoken to the spokesman on the phone.EN. In the letter, the victims outlined their concerns and explained once again how they felt the church should address the ie of payments.

He understands the demands well, Woelki explained: "Because it is about at least a minimum of justice."The cardinal pleaded for a quick, common solution. "This is something that I will work hard for at the level of the German Bishops' Conference."

Topic at fall plenary session

The German Catholic bishops are meeting in Fulda from Tuesday to Thursday for their fall plenary session. Then it should also be about compensation and recognition payments for victims of sexual abuse.

According to a decision in principle from the spring, the church wants to be guided by the civil law table of damages for pain and suffering. These currently see sums for sexual abuse ranging from 5.000 and 50.000 euros per case before. Previously, payments of up to 400.000 euros under discussion.

In July, several victims' initiatives had expressed fears in an open letter that compensation or recognition payments might be delayed or cancelled altogether due to the Corona crisis. The chairman of the Bishops' Conference, Georg Batzing, recently said he did not want any delay in payments.

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