Germany’s Catholic bishops agree on uniform compensation system for abuse victims

CNA Staff, Sep 25, 2020 / 05:00 am (CNA).- Germany’s Catholic bishops agreed this week to a uniform system for compensation payments to abuse survivors.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, announced the agreement Sept. 24 at the end of the bishops’ plenary meeting in Fulda, central Germany. 

Under the new system, survivors of abuse by Church workers will be entitled to a one-off payment of up to 50,000 euros ($58,000) — a sum based on current court rulings. 

Previously German dioceses had determined payments individually.  

At a press conference Thursday, Bätzing said that abuse victims should receive compensation in recognition of their suffering “without great bureaucratic effort,” reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German language news partner.

The new arrangement will be binding on all 27 dioceses in Germany from Jan. 1, 2021. 

Bätzing added that the amount paid to abuse survivors would be based on “judgments by state courts on compensation for pain and suffering in comparable cases.” 

As these judgments vary, the bishops’ conference will “use the upper range of payment levels as a reference point.” 

The amount of the one-off payment will be determined by an independent decision-making body. In addition, those affected can be reimbursed for the costs of therapy and couple counseling, as is already the case.

The independent committee will consist of seven people with expertise in medicine, education, psychology, and law. Members cannot be employees of the Church, to ensure greater independence.

A report, commissioned by the German bishops in 2014 but officially released in 2018, concluded that German clergy had abused thousands of children between 1946 and 2014. The report recorded allegations against 1,670 German clerics, involving 3,677 alleged victims. 

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Germany’s Catholic bishops agree on uniform compensation system for abuse victims - Catholic Mass Search

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.