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  Abuse in the Catholic Church

  11 Debates

Over the past 70 years roughly 330,000 children have been victims of sexual abuse within the French Catholic Church, according to a report compiled by an independent commission of inquiry over two and a half years. Europe's media discuss what changes are needed after the shocking revelations.

Pope Francis has abolished the "pontifical secret" rule in cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The rule of secrecy applied equally to perpetrators and victims. Statements given in church trials can now be passed on to civil authorities. Europe's press praises the measure as an important step and discusses the far-reaching consequences.

Joseph Ratzinger has written an essay in which he blames the ideology of the sexual revolution in the 1960s and sex education classes for sex abuse. It was during his time as Pope Benedict that it became known that thousands of children worldwide had been abused by members of the clergy. Why is he speaking out on this subject now?

At the end of the four-day summit in the Vatican Pope Francis demanded an end to cover-ups and harshly condemned the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy. Victim associations are voicing disappointment with the results of the meeting of almost 200 clergymen. A look at the commentary columns shows how divided opinions are on the historical summit.

A study commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference and published on Tuesday sheds light on the extent of sexual abuse in the German Catholic Church. At least 1,670 priests sexually abused children and youths between 1946 and 2014, according to the report. Commentators outline how the Church should tackle the situation.

Ahead of his trip to Ireland Pope Francis has called for "zero tolerance" for sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. In a letter to believers around the world he described it as a crime, demanded investigations and condemned what he described as an "abnormal understanding of authority in the Church". Will his words change anything?

The controversial film Kler premiered in Polish cinemas on the weekend. It portrays child abuse in the Catholic Church and the entanglement between the Church and politics. According to reports in the media some towns want to ban the film from being shown in their cinemas and the ruling PiS has harshly criticised it. What has provoked the outcry, and is it justified?

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has accused Pope Francis in a letter of having covered up allegations of abuse against the former archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick to protect the "gay lobby" in the Vatican. Just before Viganò made his accusations the Pope had harshly condemned the cases of abuse within the Catholic Church. Criticism of the Pope and the Church should not go too far, commentators warn.

Pope Francis condemned the mistreatment and abuse of children and women by members of the Catholic Church during his visit to Ireland on the weekend. For many victims, however, his apology didn't go far enough. Commentators demand thorough investigations and call on the Church to spearhead social change.

Investigators have discovered the remains of hundreds of foetuses, babies and young children at the site of a care home for unmarried mothers and their children run by the Catholic Church until 1961 in the town of Tuam in Ireland. Until as recently as the 1990s, unmarried pregnant women were often sent to such homes where they often had to carry out forced labour. Child mortality rates at such institutions were disproportionately high, according to media reports. How should the Church and society react?