Church in Europe getting ready to fight clergy sex abuse
Referring to recent reports of sex-abuse scandals in France, FrenchBishop Jacques David of Evreux has responded to reports of sex abuse inFrance by outlining the Church's intention to "combat pedophiliaassiduously", while the German Catholic bishops' conference has heldits first meeting to define its position.
Anational survey carried out by the French Bishops' Conference showsthat 118 priests were under investigation for pedophilia. Thirty wereconvicted and 11 were jailed. The bishops responded with a dossiertitled Combating Pedophilia: Points of Reference for Educators.
Writtenunder the direction of Bishop David, it gathers the reflections oftheologians, specialists in pastoral and youth morality, formators inseminaries, jurists, psychoanalysts, sexologists and journalists, to"contribute to the revelation and prevention of similar acts, whilepreserving the climate of trust indispensable for all life in society."
Setto be distributed to diocesan structures, Catholic institutes and laymovements, the dossier by its own words aims to provide "simpleinformation on the very complex reality of 'pedophilia.'"
Meanwhilethe German bishops met on Monday to establish the line of action to betaken in the face of abuse cases that have surfaced in all dioceses.
CardinalKarl Lehmann, president of the bishops' conference, wants all diocesesto follow the same procedure when abuse cases are reported. Theassembly is also discussing preventive measures.
In April, Cardinal Lehmann announced the establishment of a commission to investigate recent and older cases.
"This is the last great opportunity for the bishops to finally address these cases openly," he said.
30 Aug 2002
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.Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia