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US News Up to 50,000 euros for victims of abuse

19:35  24 september  2020
19:35  24 september  2020 Source:   dw.com

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A decade after the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church became known, the victims are to be compensated. However, those affected express criticism.

Eröffnungsgottesdienst zur Herbstvollversammlung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz am Mittwoch in Fulda ----------- © Arne Dedert / dpa / picture-alliance Opening service for the autumn plenary meeting of the German Bishops' Conference on Wednesday in Fulda -----------

The Catholic bishops in Germany have agreed on one-off payments to victims of sexual abuse in the church . From 2021 onwards, those affected could submit applications for cash benefits, regardless of whether they received compensation earlier, said the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Georg Bätzing.

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These are one-off payments, the amount of which is determined individually for each person concerned by an independent body. Its members - experts from medicine, law, psychology and education - should not be employed by the church, explained the Limburg bishop at the end of the autumn plenary meeting in Fulda.

"Reaches too short"

When it comes to the amount, the church is guided by the judgments of state courts on compensation for pain and suffering. This results in payments of up to 50,000 euros per case. In addition, costs for therapies can be reimbursed. The abuse commissioner of the federal government, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, complained in an initial reaction that the cap was too short. In cases of serious sexual abuse, 50,000 euros were not enough, said Rörig of the Catholic News Agency.

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Matthias Katsch, Sprecher des Opfervereins © Arne Dedert / dpa / picture-alliance Matthias Katsch, spokesman for the victims' association

Those affected also criticized the decision. This leads "astray", said the spokesman for the "Eckiger Tisch" initiative, Matthias Katsch. Because it is not about a compensation for current acts like in the tables of compensation for pain and suffering of state courts. Rather, we are dealing with decades of systematic cover-up and blackout of crimes against children and young people by the institution of the church. The "Eckige Tisch" reiterated its demand from last year to pay compensation between 40,000 and 400,000 euros, as recommended by an independent working group set up by the Bishops' Conference.

Different services depending on the diocese

So far there has been no uniform procedure of the 27 German dioceses, which is why victims received different services depending on the location. A study presented by the German Bishops' Conference two years ago came to the conclusion that between 1946 and 2014 at least 1,670 Catholic clergy abused 3,677 mostly male minors. In general, a high number of unreported cases is assumed.

yy / se (dpa, afp, epd, kna)

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