German Catholic Church admits "shameful" abuse legacy after stats leaked

Germany's Catholic Church 'dismayed and ashamed' by child sex abuse

3,677 sex abuse cases in German Catholic Church

More than half of the victims were younger than 13 and majority were male, according to the study commissioned by the German Bishops Conference.

The study also noted that some records had been "destroyed or manipulated", warning therefore that the scale of the abuse may be even greater. The mass aims to "give voice to the pain and suffering of the survivors of clergy sexual abuse and failures in episcopal oversight, while also recognizing the pain and wound of the whole Church", he wrote.

According to the leaked research, every sixth case was a rape and at least 1,670 clergy were involved.

More than 50 percent of the victims were reportedly 13 years old or younger.

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An explosive report on Catholic child sex abuse in Germany has been leaked by two leading German news outlets, revealing that as many as 3,677 people were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014.

Der Spiegel quoted the study as saying that the Church had often transferred clerics accused of sexual abuse without providing the new host community with "appropriate information" about them. Again, I emphasize: "The study is a measure that we owe not only to the Church, but above all, and first and foremost, to those affected".

More than 3,600 children were sexually assaulted by Catholic priests in Germany over almost seven decades, local media reported on Wednesday (Sept 12), citing a study commissioned by the German Bishops Conference. "We are dismayed and ashamed by it", said Bishop Stephan Ackermann on behalf of the conference.

Australia concluded a wide ranging royal commission into child sex abuse within the Catholic Church in 2017.

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Only one in three (566 out of 1,670 accused) were subject to disciplinary hearings by the Church, and most got away with minimal punishment, said Die Zeit weekly, also citing the report.

Pope Francis has enjoyed a high favorability ratings from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but his rating has plummeted since the scandal began making headlines in August.

Francis will meet the presidents of the Catholic bishops conferences from around the world in the Vatican from February 21-24, according to a Vatican statement on Wednesday.

Last month, a grand jury in the US state of Pennsylvania released the findings of the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse into the Catholic Church in the United States, finding that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

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The pontiff has faced mounting criticism over his handling of historic clerical sex abuse allegations. Last month, a former Vatican ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, said he had informed the Pope about claims regarding former top American cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013 but no further action was taken.

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