In the course of processing the cases of abuse by those responsible in Catholic institutions, a new intermediate status has been reached. In view of the latest cases, there is probably no end in sight to the necessary registrations of further victims.
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Advanced processing of abuse cases
Due to the extremely high number of cases of abuse that had been uncovered, the Catholic Church felt compelled to convene its own commission to deal with each individual case. To the “liking” of this institution, far too much fuss has already been blown about these matters. After all, it is also about financial compensation. On Friday, the “Independent Commission for Recognition Services (UKA)” presented its annual report.
Accordingly, a total of 1,839 cases of abuse were investigated. In 1,809 cases, the UKA agreed to pay compensation to victims of abuse. The total amount of compensation is now 40.0744 million euros. Payments of 7.2 million had already been made in previous years, with the following 32.9 million euros for the years 2021 and 2022. After abuse victims disclosed further information on their already examined cases, a further 800,000 euros were added for these. The total amount of all recognized compensation including increases is 40,879,900 euros.
This means that on average, a good 22,100 euros are lost for each individual case of abuse. For 24 cases, the UKA determined a compensation payment of over 100,000 euros. Around 50,000 euros were estimated for 143 cases. Accordingly, 15,000 euros or fewer are paid out as compensation for almost 1,000 cases of abuse.
Most of the victims are male
The majority of the victims are male, at 75 percent. UKA counted 1,357 cases involving male victims and 452 cases involving female victims. The majority of claims for damages due to sexual abuse by those in charge of an institution of the Catholic Church relate to a 40 percent share of homes.
The ages of abuse victims in homes were 5.4 percent 0-3 years, 13.8 percent 4-6 years, 45.3 percent 7-11 years, 24.5 percent 12-14 years, 9.1 percent 15- 17 years, 0.3 percent from 18 years. In 1.5 percent of cases of abuse in homes, the age is declared as unknown.
The orders with the most reports of abuse cases received include the German Province of the Salesians Don Boscos KöR (67 cases), Jesuits (33 cases), Province of St. Clemens der Remptoristen e.V. (26 cases), Pallottines (20 cases) and Salvatorians (18 Cases).
Also in 2022 numerous reports of abuse were received
Even in 2022, after the massive cases of abuse on the part of Catholic institutions had long been known, a number of reports were received, including the German Province of the Salesians Don Boscos KöR (16), Province of St. Clemens der Remptoristen e.V. (15), Pallottiner (11) and Steyler Missionaries e.V. (10).
In the respective areas of responsibility of the dioceses, Münster is the lone leader with 239 cases of abuse, followed by the Archdiocese of Cologne (147), Archdiocese of Freiburg (140), Diocese of Essen (126), Diocese of Trier (110) and Diocese of Aachen (103).
Independent members appointed by the German Bishops’ Conference
The “Independent Commission for Recognition Services” started its work on January 1st, 2021 and consists of 11 members. These members were appointed by the German Bishops’ Conference after being proposed by a non-church panel. The chairwoman, Margarete Reske, is the former presiding judge at the Cologne Higher Regional Court.
The appointment by the bishops’ conference sounds somehow piquant. Bishop means “supervisor” and they call the people on board who have to decide “independently” about cases of abuse and individual compensation. Only here does the Roman Catholic Church’s own legal sphere, seemingly untouchable from the outside, become apparent. The “excuses” of the church with its self-defined “representation of God on earth” fall out accordingly.