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Is the Catholic Church doing enough?

March 10th, 2010
12:37 PM ET

The Catholic Church in Germany has been hit by new allegations of child sexual abuse at Catholic institutions.

In an interview with CNN, Norbert Denef said that the child abuse started when he was 10 years old and that it continued until he was 18.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/10/church.blog.jpg
caption="Is the Catholic Church doing enough?"]

More than 100 cases of child abuse in Catholic institutions in Germany have come to light over the past two months, but Denef is one of the few victims speaking out publicly.

Under fire from victims and politicians, the church has said it will revise the guidelines for dealing with cases of sexual abuse.

"I apologize in the name of the church in Germany to all those who became victims of such crimes," Robert Zollitsch, the archbishop of Freiburg and highest-ranking Catholic in Germany, said recently.

Some have accused the Vatican of trying to cover up the scandal in the homeland of the pope.

On Tuesday the pope's spokesperson issued a rebuttal.

"The main ecclesiastical institutions concerned - the German Jesuit Province, the German Episcopal Conference, the Austrian Episcopal Conference and the Netherlands Episcopal Conference - have faced the emergence of the problem with timely and decisive action," the pope's spokesman, Frederico Lombardi, said in a statement.

The Catholic church has also been rocked by recent allegations of sexual abuse in Austria and Ireland.

We want to know what you think.

Do you think the Catholic Church in Germany is doing enough to investigate the claims? Should there be more transparency in the investigations? Is the Vatican not talking a hard enough stance?

And please let us know from where you are writing.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Adelchi

    Roman catholic church never followed the precepts of his prophet jesus, so there is no reason for it to continue its existence.

    March 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  2. terry

    As I grew up, a Catholic, the priests were our mentors, our bodyguards. I'm no innocent and I do know that some people are perverse or mean. However, I am happy to say that our Monsignor was funny, nice, and religious. Bad apples fall from trees, wherever those trees may go.

    March 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  3. andres mercado

    I think we have to effort in order to get a better life and the only way we have to do it is to eliminate those people who made those cripy things that if we think better we can think that is the time to eliminate the catholic religion or to kill those horrible man whose are making damage the gods name

    March 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  4. Angaaba peter

    Am a ghanaian writing from ghana.i live in the northern part of ghana and am practising catholic.am indeed sad with the raising sexaul abusement in the catholic churches. Frankly,i think the catholic church is not serious with investigating persons who has and still doing the unGODLY ACTS, which is tarnishing the image of the catholic church.to stop or decrease these sexaul abusements,the churcg must 1.make the findings of their investigations known to victims,2.speed up investigations,3.punish any person found guilty without fear or favor, 4.monitor the activities of Rev.Fathers.may GOD richly bless the catholic church

    March 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  5. andrea

    the church has been around for over two thousand years, what makes you think it will not last until the end of time? i say to you all, it will continue to serve the larger community for many more thousands of years to come for Jesus promised that the gates of hell will never prevail against it... we trust in his word and though this may seem as doomsday..the faithful must remember that we are in the day of purifications and he will indeed raise us up on the last day!

    March 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  6. W. Green

    The history of the catholic church is steeped in blood, perversity, cruelty, and many crimes against humanity such as the inquisition.
    If you research the popes as well you will find many examples of cruelty, and crimes. It is time people refused to go to this church.....it will never change....every week new allegations surface.

    March 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  7. Sarah M.

    Danke lieber Norbert, dass Du Deine Stimme bis in Amerika erhebst, um die Machenschaften der Kirche aufzudecken und für alle Opfer sprichst, die es bis heute noch nicht über die Lippen bringen. Den Satz, den du ein Jahr vor dem Spiegel qualvoll geübt hast, um das Schweigen zu durchbrechen.
    Ich danke Dir, dass Du nicht müde wirst, Deinen Schmerz in die Welt zu schreien, das Tabu zu durchbrechen, und somit anderen Opfern Mut machst, die Masken den Tätern zu entreißen.
    Danke für Dich
    Sarah M.

    March 10, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  8. Roberto

    Being Italian I have seen and heard all the kind of justification the Catholic Church has given for all those abuse. Recently the Vatican spokeperson Father Federico Lombardi, in a statement to the Vatican Radio, seems trying to point the finger at others: "Of course – he says – mistakes made by Church leaders and institutions are particularly reprehensible, given the educational and moral responsibility of the Church. But all objective and informed people know that the issue is much broader, and concentrate only allegations the Church leads to distortion of perspective." – Actually no one has ever said that abuses and violences occur solely inside the Catholic Church, but this institution pretend to have a moral superiority that is shaking and shakier day by day so they should take full responsability. From the thousands of cases around the world emerged in the last decade we have all learned that very high ranking clergymen have done everything in their power to hide and keep secret information that would have damaged their "immaculate" public immage. The mythology of the purity and holiness of the Church is all a fake. What these men wants (I am refering in particular to the high levels of the vatican pyramid of power) is to mantain their power and social status. And although they pretend to be the official representative of The Christ, the meaning of Jesus' message has nothing to do with this bunch.

    March 10, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  9. Keira

    Yet more proof of the sheer hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. They hid this sexual abuse 'bomb' all these years while condemning gays, women, divorce, birth control & reproductive health, in fact, anything they didn't approve of. If they focused their energies on God's real message - love, acceptance & unity maybe this wouldn't even be an issue.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:20 am | Reply
  10. gerald

    Jesus said there would be wolves in sheeps clothing. There was scandal in the time of the apostles. 11 out of 12 of them abandoned Jesus at the cross and one betrayed him. That some preists do evil is nothing new. Even the apostle paul said "the good that I would do, I do not, while the evil that I would not do I do". Even he struggled in this life between the flesh and the spirit. Some loose the battle that Paul won to the finish line. The Catholic Church is Christ's Church. History proves it. Men who fall are not proof of anything other than that we are all sinners in need of a savior.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  11. gerald


    Do you think that after 2000 years someone should force the Church to close. Sorry, the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ's Church, no matter how much people like you would like them to. But God bless.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  12. Adelchi

    Exactely! After 2000 years is about time Gerald. Relation with god or spiritual path is, for each one of us, a personal matter. Catholic church is nothing but a business and is scary manipulative business, i would make it illegal if it was for me.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  13. gerald


    That says alot about you and not much about the CC. Christ found A CHURCH. Not a bunch of individuals.

    March 12, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  14. Russ

    The spin doctors at the Vatican will go to work. They will advise us of changes in the screening of clergy and the training of laymen. There will be profuse apologies and it will be said that all is well now.

    This is not the resolution. At the heart of the matter is not an issue in the life of the church. It is the Roman Catholic Church's claim to authority and people's trained subservience to that authority. The Church has authority because they say they do. They can say it because they claim authority. It's called Holy Tradition.

    Until we realize that authority lies not with the Vicar of Christ but with Christ alone there will be no true change.

    March 13, 2010 at 1:42 am | Reply
  15. w. green

    I believe Russ and Adelchi are pointing to the real issue here.....ultimately each of us must develop our own relationship with God (Christ et all) directly without interference of nature religious churches who are proving daily they are morally and spiritually bankrupt and can offer us nothing of the liberating truth that we must each grasp on our own through insight into the reality of our existence.
    We need to start our journey home as a child with open minds and hearts ready to receive "our daily bread" The Catholic Church and its
    popes cannot hide from the eyes of humanity any longer and will slowly perish. A new day is dawning as we all "wake up" and see things as they really are....not as we have been lead to believe.
    Die Gloria Intacta!

    March 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  16. modester Aku from Nigeria

    They are doing enough but we all should remember them in our dailly prayers. For the fact that some of them are brought to book or punished is enough. But the problem is that some do accussed some priests wrongly why others are the ones that will tempt and seduce them, they are flesh and blood like you and me, lets just keep praying for them. Please pray for them!

    March 13, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  17. Scalvin

    This kind of thing should not happen anywhere. Don't the parents of these children who go to their priests for confession, etc. teach their children about what is right and wrong, good touches and bad touches, etc. Why are the children afraid to tell their parents of this abuse as it happens. Parents need to be more aware of what is going on in their children's lives. Actually parents need to know their priests better before even sending their children to them for religious insturction, etc. Also the C tholic church or any church for that matter needs to look into the backgrounds of their priests, lay people, pastors, etc. much more than they seem to be doing. If a priest needs to seek sexual gratifcation, then they need to be able to get married and not taking advantage of children.

    March 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  18. tinkerloo

    The abuse is deplorable and should be identified and addressed immediately. But, don't you think it's odd that so many are accusing only the "Catholic" church and how is the money many are suing for recompense. We all knew some priests were suspect and homosexuals. The church knew they were homosexuals, do people think the church should ban homosexuals from the priesthood, considering every fourth person is gay.. Why not ban heterosexuals. All that is restricted by the church is sexual activity. As well, HOW many times did these victims try to tell parents, who repeatedly dismissed it because they had their priorities out of whack. Also, how many homosexuals outside of the church fed the fire. Finally just remember, The Catholic Church's health and altruism FAR outways it's dysfunction and ALL guilty parties should be held accountable. The devil NEVER sleeps and unfortunately is free to roam anywhere angels do. Why God allows satan to prowl the earth for the ruin of men's souls...is beyond me. Blessings and healings to any who suffered and may the Most Blessed Sacrament heal those who have suffered this terrible injustice.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply

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