September 25, 2018
By Riham Alkousaa and Maria Sheahan
The head of the Catholic Church in Germany apologized on Tuesday “for all the failure and pain”, after a report found thousands of children had been sexually abused by its clergy, and said the “guilty must be punished”.
Researchers from three German universities examined 38,156 personnel files spanning a 70-year period ending in 2014, and found indications of sexual abuse by 1,670 clerics, with more than 3,700 possible victims.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported the findings earlier this month after the report was leaked. The scandal comes as the church is grappling with new abuse cases in countries including Chile, the United States and Argentina.
“Those who are guilty must be punished,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, said at a news conference to launch the report in the city of Fulda.
“For too long in the church we have looked away, denied, covered up and didn’t want it to be true,” he added.
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