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Scandal over sexual abuse of students at Berlin's Canisius College draws wider circles. Germany's highest-ranking Jesuit, Father Stefan Dartmann, told reporters in Berlin on Monday that he is aware of 25 victims so far. Apart from the 20 affected at the Canisius College, there were 3 at Hamburg's St.-Ansgar School and 2 people at Jesuit High School in St. Blasien in the Black Forest.

The two alleged perpetrators Peter R. (69) and Wolfgang S. (65) would be accused of sexual assault and instruction in masturbation and indecent touching. The abuse of students occurred between 1975 and 1984, he said. Dartmann explained, Wolfgang S. Is also suspected of abuse outside of schools, he said. In the 1980s, for example, there was a complaint from a mother in the Gottingen area who accused him of assaulting her 14-year-old daughter. He had also stated, as part of his application for laicization, that he had committed assaults while living in Chile and Spain between 1985 and 1990. The Jesuit provincial said it raises "the probing question of why the incidents did not come to light at the time". Obviously, the superiors of the two suspects would not have seen any obligation to report at the time. "It would have been right to turn the cases over to a law enforcement agency," he stressed. This is also provided for in the guidelines for members of religious orders that have been in force since 2003. The rector of the Canisius College, Klaus Mertes, admitted that already in 1981 there had been "hidden indications" of the abuse cases in the Jesuit gymnasium. They would have found in a written criticism of former students of the concept of sex education. "I am ashamed that the school did nothing at the time," Mertes said verbatim. When asked, he said the order was open to financial claims for compensation from the victims. According to his impression, a complete clarification of the incidents is the most important reparation for them.

Acts? Dartmann announced that the Jesuit order would also examine the extent to which its leaders at the time had not fulfilled their duty of service. Before that, however, the report of the order's representative for victims of sexual abuse, attorney Ursula Raue, announced for mid-February, must be awaited. Raue said Monday she will now look at the files and wants to talk about "what structures have promoted it that it remained in the dark". It suspects the origin in Catholic sexual morality. "I know of two offenders with whom I also have contact".Meanwhile, the Berlin public prosecutor's office is checking whether the acts are now time-barred, as a spokesman said in response to a query. "Obviously that's the case," he added, explaining. "Then the ie is over for us as a law enforcement agency through."Even if there had been obstruction of justice in the early 1990s, the statute of limitations had long since expired.

Tip of an iceberg? The Berlin-based association Tauwetter – a contact point for men who were sexually abused as boys – believes that the cases that have come to light so far are merely the "tip of an iceberg". Often, victims of abuse experience that they are not believed at first and that the assaults are covered up, said trauma consultant Thomas Schlingmann. Many institutions, he said, are more concerned about their reputation than the welfare of the children and young people entrusted to them.According to Schlingmann, the majority of the more than 100 men who come to the drop-in center each year were abused "in close social circles". The perpetrators are, among others, coaches, group leaders, family friends, but also respected people such as teachers or clergy. Yet it is the "assault by a trusted or authority figure that has devastating effects on the child's psyche".

No abuse cases known in Bonn There are no known cases of sexual abuse of young people at the Aloisius College of the Jesuits in Bonn. The two teachers accused of abusing students at Berlin's Canisius College have not been active in Bonn, as Rector Father Theo Schneider said Monday in response to an inquiry. The Aloisiuskolleg is the third school in Germany under the auspices of the order, along with the Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin and the Jesuit-Kolleg Sankt Blasien.

Bishops' Conference "deeply affected" The lawyer emphasized that her aim was to make clear to the possible perpetrators what the victims had felt in the process. "It is always this shame, this being hurt, this not being able to talk about it, not being allowed to talk about it. This is something that follows people for many years." The German Bishops' Conference was "deeply affected" by the reports. Spokesman Matthias Kopp pointed out in Bonn at the same time that the Bishops' Conference had ied its own guidelines in 2002. These are "unequivocally and still the basis of our actions."All dioceses would have appointed special officers to investigate allegations of abuse.

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