Catholic Church in Germany fires sexual abuse investigator

A criminologist who was investigating sexual abuse of minors by priests has been sacked German Roman Catholic bishops.

Christian Pfeiffer has accused them of trying to censure a major report on the scandals, which looks at cases dating back to 1945.

But Matthias Kopp, spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops Conference, says the investigation will be continued without him:

“We did not give up the research project. Of course it will be continued in order to come to terms with sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. It is not a matter of with or without Pfeiffer. We terminate the work with Pfeiffer today because the mutual trust is totally broken.”

A series of abuse scandals forced Pope Benedict to issue an apology and offer compensation to victims in 2010, but Pfeiffer says a cover-up continues:

“It is obvious that the project has failed because of the Catholic Church’s wish to control and to censure,” he said.

“We were asked to sign a new contract in which the Church would have had the right to forbid the texts that had been written by us over years of work if they don’t like it.”

Norbert Denef is an abuse victim and has called for outside investigators to get involved:

“You can compare it to the Mafia solving its own crimes,” he says. “Then we would also say that that this doesn’t work and this is similar to this case. The crimes can only be investigated from outside.”

In 2010 revelations of abuse in boarding schools prompted around 600 people in Germany to file allegations against priests and around 180,000 Catholics left the church in protest that year.

Similar investigations into the records of priests accused of molesting children have been conducted in recent years in the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland, with sometimes devastating results for the reputation of the church involved.

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Comment by Loren Miller on February 7, 2013 at 8:02am

The thing is, Ed, SOMEONE has got to grow cojones big enough to actually up and DO it, to tell the monsignor or bishop or archbishop or cardinal: "Stand up and put your hands behind your back.  You're under arrest.  You have the right to remain silent..."  Our civil authorities have got to quit being cowed by the false authority which the church deigns to claim.  Whether they want to acknowledge it or not, the church and its representatives have committed CRIMES ... and they deserve the same treatment as any other criminal gets.

Show me that day ... and the first round is on me.

Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on February 7, 2013 at 2:37am

Australia's government  has the right idea by appointing an independent Royal Comission (National Inquiry) into the catholic church. The investigation has started recently.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 6, 2013 at 6:06pm

Eventually, it's going to come down to this:

Location - the front door of a RC church office. BANG-BANG-BANG!  "This is the police!  Open up!  We have a warrant!"

And from where I sit, it cannot happen soon enough.  For too long those of the RC church have thought themselves to be above the law or exempt from it.  It is well past time they were disabused of that notion, forcibly if necessary.

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