Cologne abuse scandal: Dutch and Swedish bishops begin papal investigation | abroad

The two “inspectors” who will investigate Pope Francis whether mistakes were made in dealing with abuse cases in the Diocese of Cologne began their work today. The bishops of Rotterdam and Stockholm are expected to stay for two weeks and then prepare a report for the Pope.




The “Apostolic Visitors,” as they were officially called the Scholars, were the first to speak with a few victims of abuse. Among them is Patrick Bauer, 51, who was first sexually abused when he was 10 by a priest in Bad Godesberg, now part of Bonn. The clergyman assaulted him for years and Bauer is still suffering the consequences. He suffers from depression and sleep disturbances. “I can’t breathe at night because I think my mouth is full,” he told public broadcaster ZDF in March of this year.

Power’s reaction was surprising today after a conversation with the bishops behind closed doors. “I thought it was an open and committed conversation and I asked them why they wanted to talk to us first. The answer was: Because you emailed us and the victims are the most important in the process. I find it commendable,” the fifty-year-old said in front of a camera daily news, ARD News.

Cardinal and Wilkie

He is one of five former members of the Victims Advisory Council of the Diocese of Cologne, the largest in Germany. Each of them said their words on Tuesday about the actions of Cardinal Rainer Maria Wolke van Keulen. He is under severe criticism for his actions in assault cases.

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For example, a first investigation report led by a criminal defense attorney was not released publicly due to “poor investigative techniques” and later ordered a second investigation led by another criminal law expert. That report, published in March, showed that more than 300 children had been sexually abused in the diocese in recent decades by more than 200 potential suspects. the report The cardinal was acquitted but accused dozens of clerics of making mistakes in handling abuse cases.

Cardinal Rainer Maria Wolke after receiving a report of more than 300 cases of abuse in his diocese in mid-March. © AP

two accused

The archbishop and cardinal are now again under fire for his actions in two of the clergy accused in the report. Wolkie appointed one as vice dean of St. Margarita’s diocese in Düsseldorf in 2017 despite allegations of sexual assault. The other priest, who has since died and works in the same parish, failed to conduct an initial ecclesiastical investigation into allegations of serious sexual abuse when he took office in 2015. The cardinal also failed to inform Rome of this, later justifying the turn of events by referring to the priest’s “advanced dementia” The former prevented him from interrogation.

Therefore, Woolki does not feel that victims of abuse are taken seriously. Bauer: I don’t care who is sitting in the chair of the Archbishop of Cologne. What I want is real trust, real transparency and real dialogue.

Deans of 14 of the 15 city and county branches within the diocese wrote to Cardinal Walkie in late May asking him to draw “personal consequences” from the abuse scandal and allegations against him. According to the heads of the departments, the crisis of confidence in the diocese, with Hundreds of Catholics have canceled their registrationIt has reached its climax and cannot continue like this.

overall picture

Bishop Hans van den Hend of Rotterdam and its author Anders Arborilius of Stockholm should form “a comprehensive picture on the site of the complex pastoral situation in the Diocese of Cologne,” a manifesto read out at the end of May. Statement from the diplomatic mission of the Vatican in Berlin.

Cardinal Rainer Maria Wolke welcomes the investigation. “I informed the Holy Father in detail about the situation in our diocese in February and I salute that he wants to use the apostolic visit to get his own picture of the independent investigation and its results,” he said after the news. Arrival of “visitors”.



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