What happens on 18. March?

What happens on 18. March?

In the fall of 2020, Archbishop Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki of Cologne commissioned the Gercke Wollschlager law firm to conduct an independent investigation into abuse and sexualized violence. The results are now presented online.

For the investigation, all relevant files and other documents from the Archdiocese of Cologne were examined and various officials were heard. Lawyers reviewed the documents to determine whether the actions of diocesan officials at the time were in each case consistent with the requirements of church law and self-understanding, as well as state law. In addition, they developed proposals to eliminate any deficiencies or legal violations that were identified.

The law firm has completed its work and will present the results to the responsible persons of the archdiocese and at the same time to the public on a Press conference on Thursday, 18. March 2021 at 10 a.m. The Press conference will be published on the homepage of the Archdiocese of Cologne and on our site transmitted. A separate invitation for accreditation will be sent by the Archdiocese of Cologne to editorial offices and journalists. Directly afterwards, the members of the affected advisory board will get the first insight. Afterwards, the expert opinion will be published on the website of the archdiocese.

Further procedure

In the following days, Cardinal Woelki, Vicar General Dr. Hofmann and Professor Gercke will present the results of the expert opinion in various committee meetings. "We are glad that Professor Gercke and his team succeeded in meeting the tight schedule despite Corona conditions," Cardinal Woelki thanked the office. "This gives us the methodologically solid basis to talk about responsibility and improvements."

At 23. March the first results and consequences of the report will then be presented. For this purpose, a second press conference will be held again at 10 a.m. in the Maternushaus.

From the 25. March The expert opinion of the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, which was not published because of the reservations regarding the right of expression, will be available for inspection in the Maternushaus. The link to the online registration will be announced by the Archdiocese of Cologne in the next few days. Following the Limburg model, those affected, media representatives and interested members of the public will then be able to draw their own comparison between the two expert reports.

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