The public prosecutor’s office and the police searched numerous premises in the catchment area of the Archdiocese of Cologne. The diocese headed by Cardinal Woelki. It was an initial suspicion without any blame in the context of the countless cases of abuse in this church.
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Diocese was cooperative
The Archdiocese of Cologne was “turned upside down”. The public prosecutor’s office and police began searching the archdiocese’s premises this morning. This action by the executives was confirmed by the Archdiocese of Cologne itself and by the Cologne public prosecutor’s office, as katholisch.de reported. This search is therefore carried out specifically on the basis of the accusation of perjury and the false declaration of oath instead of the Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki.
The searches are ongoing at the headquarters in Cologne and in the properties in Lohfelden and Kassel. The focus is on the General Vicariate, the Official Office and the Archbishop’s House. The business premises of the IT service provider commissioned by the Archdiocese of Cologne are also being searched. This is about securing the e-mail traffic of the diocese.
Around 30 police officers were involved and the measures went smoothly thanks to the extensive cooperation at the locations searched.
When did Woelki know?
The public prosecutor wanted to find out when Cardinal Woelki had knowledge of two documents incriminating a priest. This priest was promoted by Woelki. It is also emphasized that the searches are not an expression of an accusation, but only refer to an initial suspicion. There is no allegation of active or passive cover-up, let alone involvement in acts of abuse.
Searches are completely open-ended
It will be interesting to see what results this step against the Archdiocese of Cologne will bring, or what “clarifications” will be brought to the public. At least this is just the famous drop in the bucket when it comes to “chronic” abuse within the Catholic Church.