Germany’s Catholic Church sexual abuse hotline received 1,000 calls the first day

Amid growing reports of sexual abuse and scandals, Germany’s Catholic Church has launched a sexual abuse helpline, which has angered one organization who helps those victims. However, on its first day the hotline received 1,000 calls.

Trier, Germany – The Roman Catholic Church in Germany launched a telephone hotline for those victims who have been sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests on Tuesday, according to BBC News. A NBC News report shows that the hotline received more than 1,000 calls on its first day.

The helpline, which is based in the western city of Trier, appointed the church’s bishop, Stephen Ackerman, for handling the investigations of any allegations made against its clergy, “We want to be responsive, we want to know what has been suffered and want to support those affected,” said Ackerman.

Many people believe the church should be a last resort to report sexual abuse as they should first contact either police or family members, according to David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, “Victims should tell loved ones and police first. Victims should tell loved ones and police first.”

Read moreGermany’s Catholic Church sexual abuse hotline received 1,000 calls the first day

Austrian Catholic Church Abuse Hot Lines Log 566 Reports This Year

See also: Austrian church abuse hot lines log 566 reports (Boston Herald)


There have been 566 reports of various kinds of abuse by clergy at the Catholic Church’s ombudsman’s offices this year, it was reported today (Tues).

Vienna archdiocese has had the highest number, 174, followed by Innsbruck diocese with 115. More than half of them can no longer be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations.

Cases of sexual abuse constitute 27 per cent of these, cases of violence 26 per cent. More than half of them require further investigation, according to the media.

The rising number of reports has caused Vienna Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, the titular head of the Austrian Catholic Church and chairman of the Austrian Bishops Conference, to react.

Read moreAustrian Catholic Church Abuse Hot Lines Log 566 Reports This Year

Australian Bishop says ‘vast amount’ of sexual abuse cases yet to emerge

THE Catholic Church has a turbulent future as probably a much smaller church in the West, with a ”vast amount” of sexual abuse cases yet to emerge, according to a retired Australian bishop.

”The church is not going to fold up its tent and disappear, but there could be very dramatic changes” as a result of the clergy abuse crisis, said Bishop Geoffrey Robinson.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, blamed a failure of leadership and a lack of courage for the crisis and warned that while Australia had learnt its lessons, the difficulties for the church in many countries were still coming.

”It’s a big crisis for the church. We are all hurt by this, but we’ve got to face it and get on with it,” he said.

In the past month, Pope Benedict XVI has apologised to Irish Catholics after two devastating secular reports into clerical abuse and cover-ups, and hundreds of new allegations emerged in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

Read moreAustralian Bishop says ‘vast amount’ of sexual abuse cases yet to emerge

Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse FOR YEARS

They were deaf, but they were not silent. For decades, a group of men who were sexually abused as children by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin reported to every type of official they could think of that he was a danger, according to the victims and church documents.

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Steven Geier said the priest who molested him as a boy told him he had to keep it a secret. Mr. Geier reported the abuse to three priests, including the Rev. Tom Schroeder

They told other priests. They told three archbishops of Milwaukee. They told two police departments and the district attorney. They used sign language, written affidavits and graphic gestures to show what exactly Father Murphy had done to them. But their reports fell on the deaf ears of hearing people.

This week, they learned that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, received letters about Father Murphy in 1996 from Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee, who said that the deaf community needed “a healing response from the Church.” The Vatican sat on the case, then equivocated, and when Father Murphy died in 1998, he died a priest.

Read moreDeaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse FOR YEARS

Christopher Hitchens Slams Vatican, Pope Over Sex Abuse Scandal

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Christopher Hitchens, whose antagonism towards religion is well-established, had harsh words for the Catholic Church, and the Pope in particular, during an appearance on “Morning Joe” today.

The most recent scandal that has erupted over the priest who molested over 200 deaf boys, Hitchens said, proves that “the fatal taint” goes all the way to the top:

A school for children who can only use sign language. 200 of them have their childhoods completely wrecked by this priest, and entreaties are addressed to the man who is now Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, the man who was saying at the time that the only problem with the scandal was there was a press campaign against the church. The abuse was not the problem, the torture the rape; only the revelation of it. Nothing happens except that he forgives the priest who asked for forgiveness before he dies.
I wrote then and I believe now that the fatal taint went straight to the top at that point, and now we have as head of the church someone who’s personally as well institutionally responsible for knowing of this, covering it up and protecting, not the children, but the predators.

Asked by host Willie Geist when the Catholic Church will reach a breaking point, considering how many of these scandals it has weathered in the past, Hitchens replied that the breaking point has indeed arrived:

The breaking point just came, when it became obvious from reports from Munich, and reports from Wisconsin, and reports now from Verona, in Italy, that the man who is now calling himself the Pope was the person individually responsible for the coverup.

Read moreChristopher Hitchens Slams Vatican, Pope Over Sex Abuse Scandal

The Pope Is Not Above the Law

The crimes within the Catholic Church demand justice.

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Pope Benedict XVI

One by one, as I predicted, the pathetic excuses of Joseph Ratzinger’s apologists evaporate before our eyes. It was said until recently that when the Rev. Peter Hullermann was found to be a vicious pederast in 1980, the man who is now pope had no personal involvement in his subsequent transfer to his own diocese or in his later unimpeded career as a rapist and a molester. But now we find that the psychiatrist to whom the church turned for “therapy” was adamant that Hullermann never be allowed to go near children ever again. We also find that Ratzinger was one of those to whom the memo about Hullermann’s transfer was actually addressed. All attempts to place the blame on a loyal subordinate, Ratzinger’s vicar general, the Rev. Gerhard Gruber, have predictably failed. According to a recent report, “the transfer of Father Hullermann from Essen would not have been a routine matter, experts said.” Either that-damning enough in itself-or it perhaps would have been a routine matter, which is even worse. Certainly the pattern-of finding another parish with fresh children for the priest to assault-is the one that has become horribly “routine” ever since and became standard practice when Ratzinger became a cardinal and was placed in charge of the church’s global response to clerical pederasty.

So now a new defense has had to be hastily improvised. It is argued that, during his time as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, Ratzinger was more preoccupied with doctrinal questions than with mere disciplinary ones. Of course, of course: The future pope had his eyes fixed on ethereal and divine matters and could not be expected to concern himself with parish-level atrocities. This cobbled-up apologia actually repays a little bit of study. What exactly were these doctrinal issues? Well, apart from punishing a priest who celebrated a Mass at an anti-war demonstration-which incidentally does seem to argue for a “hands-on” approach to individual clergymen-Ratzinger’s chief concern appears to have been that of first communion and first confession. Over the previous decade, it had become customary in Bavaria to subject small children to their first communion at a tender age but to wait a year until they made their first confession. It was a matter of whether they were old enough to understand. Enough of this liberalism, said Ratzinger, the first confession should come in the same year as the first communion. One priest, the Rev. Wilfried Sussbauer, reports that he wrote to Ratzinger expressing misgivings about this and received “an extremely biting letter” in response.

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Sex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican

The Pope’s record is “above discussion”!

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act (Times)

A church sex scandal where the truth is crucified (Toronto Star)


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The Pope has been accused of protecting Father Lawrence Murphy


NEW revelations about Pope Benedict XVI’s alleged role in covering up accusations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have exposed the Vatican to the risk of lawsuits brought by victims around the world.

Mounting anger at the Catholic Church’s failure to act on predatory priests in the US, Europe and Mexico has plunged the papacy into an institutional crisis described by an American Catholic newspaper last week as “the largest in centuries”.

Yesterday the Vatican denounced the “aggressive persistence” of critics who were attempting to “involve the Holy Father personally in the matter of abuse”. A spokesman told Vatican Radio that the Pope’s record was “above discussion”.

Yet the talk in Catholic circles was of little else as the Pope’s former life as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of Munich and senior Vatican administrator, came under intensifying scrutiny.

Last week it was alleged that, as head of the Vatican office monitoring priestly misconduct, Ratzinger failed to punish Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused up to 200 boys at a Wisconsin school for the deaf.

Instead of being defrocked or reported to police, Murphy remained a priest until his death in 1998.

“We are talking about a man who, before he became Pope, knew what Murphy was doing and did nothing about it,” said Donald Marshall, a mechanic who claims Murphy assaulted him in 1977 when he was 13. “The Pope is a fraud and a hypocrite.”

The reports coincided with a burgeoning German row over Father Peter Hullermann, a Bavarian priest who received therapy for paedophilia in Ratzinger’s diocese and was transferred to a new parish, where he continued molesting boys.

Read moreSex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican

Pope Benedict Signals Won’t Be Intimidated By Abuse Critics, Uses Popemobile For First Time On A Palm Sunday

Pope Signals Won’t Be Intimidated By Abuse Critics (New York Times):

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict, facing one of the gravest crises of his pontificate as a sexual abuse scandal sweeps the Church, indicated Sunday that his faith would give him the courage not to be intimidated by critics.

Oh, really?:

Pope uses popemobile for first time on a Palm Sunday (France24)

(AFP) – Pope Benedict XVI, under fire as the Roman Catholic Church grapples with snowballing paedophilia scandals, used the popemobile for the first time on a Palm Sunday for his traditional outing in St Peter’s Square.

The 82-year-old pope, appearing in good health, used the iconic white vehicle to criss-cross the sun-drenched square, waving to tens of thousands of pilgrims. In previous years he has carried out the tradition on foot.

Security concerns may also have prompted the decision to use the popemobile, the white bulletproof vehicle introduced for Benedict’s predecessor John Paul II.

What faith???

Read morePope Benedict Signals Won’t Be Intimidated By Abuse Critics, Uses Popemobile For First Time On A Palm Sunday

Vatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim

Papal embassy officials told in 1993, says man abused by former monsignor

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Former Monsignor Bernard Prince, right, befriended Pope John Paul II.

An Ontario victim of a pedophile priest who later became a top Vatican official says the Vatican knew of allegations against the priest years before he was convicted.

The priest, former Monsignor Bernard Prince, was convicted in 2008 of molesting 13 young boys between 1964 and 1984. Most of the incidents occurred in the Killaloe area, near Pembroke in eastern Ontario. He was defrocked last year.

Prince was appointed to a top Vatican job in Rome in 1991 – the year after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke learned of sex abuse allegations – says the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court publication ban on identifying him. The victim says in 1993 the Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa – the Vatican’s embassy – was notified of the allegations.

Yet Prince remained secretary general of the Vatican’s Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith until his retirement in 2004.

“The Apostolic Nuncio in Ottawa was aware of the allegations,” says the victim, referring to the Vatican’s ambassador at the time, Archbishop Carlo Curis.

“They did nothing about it,” the victim alleges, referring to Vatican officials. “In fact, they just continued to cover him up.”

Read moreVatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim

Sinead O’Connor: ‘There Should Be A Full Criminal Investigation Of The Pope’

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act (Times)

Catholic Church quietly expelling and punishing children, homeless (Irish Central)


Years after her controversial ‘Saturday Night Live’ appearance, the Irish singer is still at odds with the Catholic Church, saying it must come clean about sexual-abuse allegations.

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During an appearance on TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” Irish singer Sinead O’Connor tore a papal photo. (NBC-TV / October 5, 1992)

Reporting from Bray, Ireland – She shot to fame 20 years ago with her shaved head, chiseled cheeks and haunting rendition of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Then she gained notoriety when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on American TV, calling him “the enemy” and urging people to fight child abuse.

Sinead O’Connor is still singing. And she’s still speaking out against abuse — only now her 1992 stunt on “Saturday Night Live” almost seems prescient as the Roman Catholic Church faces a growing catalog of complaints about child sexual and physical assault by priests in her Irish homeland and across Europe.

Such mistreatment was rampant here in Ireland, going back decades. By 1987, the Irish church was alarmed enough that it took out an insurance policy against future lawsuits and claims for compensation stemming from sexual-abuse allegations.

This past weekend, Pope Benedict XVI issued a “pastoral letter” apologizing to the flock in Ireland for the church’s past failures. He did not outline any disciplinary action against the bishops who many here say covered up priestly misdeeds, though on Wednesday he accepted the resignation of Bishop John Magee, who had been accused of failing to report suspected pedophile priests to police. The pope also pinned no blame on the Vatican itself for a culture of secrecy that critics say it deliberately fostered.

O’Connor, now 43 and a mother of four, spoke to The Times on Tuesday at her seaside home in Bray, south of Dublin, about the abuse scandal.

Do you feel the pope’s letter was enough?

It’s a study in the fine art of lying and actually betraying your own people. . . . He starts by saying that he’s writing with great concern for the people of Ireland. If he was that concerned, why has it taken him 23 years to write a letter, and why did he or the last pope never get on an airplane and come to meet the victims in any of these countries and apologize?

The letter sells the Irish [church] hierarchy downriver by stating again and again that the Irish hierarchy has somehow acted independently of the Vatican. . . . The documents are there to prove that that’s a lie. . . .

If you were the boss of a company and some of the employees of your company were known to sexually abuse children, you would fire them instantly. You would also go instantly to meet the people who had been abused and profusely apologize and offer your help in any way whatsoever to deal with this. . . . That has never happened.

As a cardinal, the pope wrote an order in 2001 demanding that abuse cases be dealt with in secret. But doesn’t the directive also mention cooperating with civil authorities?

Read moreSinead O’Connor: ‘There Should Be A Full Criminal Investigation Of The Pope’