Merkel praises pope

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is convinced that the Pope's letter to Irish Catholics on sexual abuse also applies to Germany. Pope Benedict XVI. wrote the "pastoral letter as shepherd of the universal Church," said government spokesman Wilhelm in Berlin. Meanwhile, the Green Party requests a topical debate in the Bundestag on the subject of sexual abuse.

Wilhelm said the letter applies "universally," including the cases in Germany. The head of the church condemned the abuse and the handling of church authorities with his letter. According to Wilhelm, Merkel also welcomed the action of the Bavarian Catholic bishops in clearing up abuse cases. This is also very important with regard to the guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference, they said. Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) expressed a similar opinion. She called it remarkable in the "Berliner Zeitung" (Monday) that in Bavaria now every church-related suspicious case is examined by the state investigating authorities. Topical hour in the Bundestag? Meanwhile, the Green Party has requested a topical debate in the Bundestag on the subject of sexual abuse. In explaining the reasons, Parliamentary Secretary Volker Beck said the Catholic Church and the federal government had so far failed to find an "adequate and sufficient response" to the many cases of abuse in church institutions and secular schools. The round table, which the federal government convened on 23. Beck considers the launch of the new program in April to be the wrong way to go. Green Party leader Claudia Roth called for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry "that would fully investigate cases of abuse in all Catholic, state and private institutions". The politician evaluated the Pope's letter in the "Rheinische Post" (Monday) as disappointing. Not a word, he said, about the cases of abuse in German institutions. Protestant Church: new op Eight men and women who said they were victims of violence and humiliation in Protestant institutions came forward to the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EkiR) in recent weeks. Five cases concerned North Rhine-Westphalia and three Rhineland-Palatinate, said Vice President Petra Bosse-Huber in Dusseldorf. The incidents would have occurred 30 to 50 years ago. In addition, there were the incidents in 2008 and 2009 at the Dusseldorf child and youth welfare facility "Educon" run by the Graf Recke Foundation. In view of abuse cases, pediatricians and youth doctors warned against scantily clad girls and boys in advertisements. Companies and advertising agencies should refrain from depicting naked or nearly naked children, said the Professional Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents (BVKJ) in Cologne, Germany. Therapists also under suspicion According to a study by the University of Cologne, around 300 patients in Germany are victims of sexual assault in therapy every year. One in ten male therapists has already had sexual contact with a female patient, reports the magazine "Der Allgemeinarzt," published in Nittendorf, Bavaria, in its April ie. On Monday, activists of the self-help organization SNAP (Network of Survivors of Abuse by Priests) called on victims in Germany to organize in front of the Munich Ordinariate. SNAP was founded in 1988 and says it represents about 9.000 victims of abuse in the U.S. and other countries.

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