Empty promises?

Several victims of abuse and mistreatment in Ettal monastery have joined forces and are demanding compensation with the help of lawyers. The reproach to the monastery leadership: the declarations of intent have so far not been followed by action. Those responsible refer to the "Ettal help concept.

The association "Ettaler Missbrauchsopfer" (Ettal Abuse Victims), which is in the process of being founded, is represented by the Munich lawyer Stephan J. Lang, who himself went to school in Ettal until 1983. Lang criticized on Thursday that the monastery has so far not followed up its declarations of intent to make amends with any action. More and more victims feel disregarded. They had the impression that the abbey wanted to sit out the scandal and not take responsibility. The lawyer described the monastery's handling of the matter to date as "amateurish". When those affected wanted to talk about compensation, they bounced off the monastery "like off a concrete wall". Further round table? The lawyer said his office is working on a concept for a round table with the victim support organization "Weiber Ring" (White Ring). A modified "perpetrator-victim settlement" is being sought through mediation accepted by both sides. Individual forms of compensation could be found in this way. The round table should discuss both the establishment of a compensation fund or a victim foundation for prevention work, they said. The main goal, they say, is reconciliation between the parties involved. The victims wanted to finally come to terms with this ie and regain their composure. A number of them have been meeting every Sunday for months in Munich. If successful, this compensation could become a model solution for comparable cases of abuse in Germany, said Lang. The Ettal victims' association was initiated by two students who were in Ettal until 2005, one of them was a student representative. They are aware that the vast majority of cases are statute-barred, according to the homepage. The monastery, however, had a moral duty to make amends. Behind the association stands so far a two-digit number of persons, it was said. Modified aid concept The Ettal Benedictines presented a victim assistance concept more than two months ago, which was slightly modified again three days ago. In it, they commit themselves to individual case-related aid for injured parties from the monastery's own funds. A victim-offender reconciliation is possible. The Benedictines also refer in the concept to a cooperation with the "White Ring". On 13. The final report of the special investigator Thomas Pfister, appointed on the initiative of the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising, was published in April. According to the report, children and adolescents were brutally abused, sadistically tortured and sexually abused in the school and boarding school of Ettal Monastery for decades until about 1990. Affected were as perpetrators 15 Fathers and far more than 100 victims, it was said at that time. According to research by the Association of Ettal Abuse Victims, however, Pfister's report contains only 30 percent of the victims' accounts submitted to various agencies. The second meeting of a round table set up was broken off after five hours of talks in mid-April, according to the victims' association. The victims had explained to the monastery that its aid concept was not working. Since then, there has been no further meeting. In the course of the processing of the scandal, which became public in February, differences between the monastery and the Archbishopric of Munich-Freising also came to light.

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