Germany: Abuse Hotline Set Up By Catholic Church Melts Down On First Day
Catholic Church officials in Germany set up an abuse hotline for parishioners wishing to report their priests. The line “melted down” on the first day with thousands of calls.
The numbers were far more than the handful of therapists assigned to deal with them could cope with. In the end only 162 out of 4,459 callers were given advice before the system was shut down. Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn’t prepared for “that kind of an onslaught’. The hotline is the Church’s attempt to win back trust in the face of an escalating abuse scandal that threatens the papacy of German-born Pontiff Benedict XVI in Rome. Earlier this week it was alleged that an ally of the Pope, Bishop Mixa, beat children – a charge he has subsequently denied. Former girls and boys testified that he beat them with fists and a carpet beater which screaming; ‘The devil is in you and I will drive him out!’ Also, the bishopric of Trier reported that 20 priests are suspected of having sexually abused children between the 1950s and 1990s. Bishop Stephan Ackermann, who was appointed last year, said on Monday that three of the cases had been passed on to public prosecutors, with two more soon to follow. German media are calling the scandal ‘the hour of the children’. Silent, often for decades after pressure was applied to both them and their families by the Church, they are now finding the courage to speak out.
via Joe My God