Thursday, August 18, 2016
Accusations Against Cardinal Marx for Handling of a Sex Abuse Case
The President of the German Bishops' Conference is being criticized in a suspected case of sexual abuse of a minor ten years previously by a priest in the diocese of Trier.
Trier (kath.net/KNA) The President of the German Bishops' Conference, Reinhold Cardinal Marx is being criticized in a suspected case of sexual abuse of a minor ten years previously by a priest in the diocese of Trier.
As reported by Saarland Broadcasting, Marx knew as the then Bishop of Trier in 2006 of the legal proceedings against the clergyman. While the accused had partially confessed to the abuse of a young person, the charges had reached the statute of limitations and the authorities discontinued the investigation. The diocese of Trier had thoroughly questioned the pastor, after the latter had denied the allegations. The files of the judiciary were not requested.
As a spokesman for the prosecutor of Saarbrücken confirmed on Wednesday for the Catholic News Agency (KNA). the diocese was informed in 2006 about the termination of the criminal proceedings. However, that was probably done informally - without giving any reasons, such that the adjustment was made due to the statute of limitation.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising confirmed on the same day that Marx took part in a meeting of the Staff Council of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trier in 2006, in which a message of the prosecution was that the case was being handled by discontinuing the investigation. The procedure was followed "according to the then applicable guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference" from the year of 2002. "Today, such a case would have been handled otherwise, it would have initiated its own investigations," said the spokesman. "The German bishops have experienced consequences from the bitter experiences and corresponding decided upon new guidelines that apply to all dioceses."
The Church's handling of the prosecution in cases of abuse have been clarified in the guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference in 2010 and then again in 2013. As amended in 2010, it states that a preliminary canonical investigation would be conducted regardless of method of secular justice. But they served only as much given the results of state prosecution.
In 2013 was the first handling of unsolved cases was to be regulated by state counsel. So it says in paragraph 39: If a statute of limitations period has occurred, "but factual indications exist which justify the admission of sexual abuse of minors or adult wards, the competent ecclesiastical authorities should take pains to clarify it within their own means."
As the diocese of Trier announced in May, an investigation of the public prosecutor took place in 2006, 2013 and 2016,against the now 64-year-old priest. The respective investigations have in the meantime been discontinued. The records of 2006 had only been received by the diocese in the spring of 2016. Those documents offer a reasonable initial suspicion for acts involving a then underage person which indeed is barred under state, but not by canon law. The Vatican has tightened the statute of limitations for such crimes in recent years several times.
On this basis, the current Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, initiated an ecclesiastical preliminary investigation against the priest, according to the diocese. The priest, who was around 30 years in a parish in Saarland, has been prohibited since, from worshiping openly and maintaining contact with children and adolescents. The clergyman had since undertaken multiple vacation trips with young people, according to the diocese.
Trans: Tancred email@example.com
Link to Kathnet...