Sandrina altenhoner and thomas forster have presented an annual report on their work as abuse commissioners in the wurzburg diocese.
From september 2019 to september 2020, a total of seven relevant new allegations were made against priests and lay church employees for abuse or for border violations. This is the last balance sheet for forster, as he will retire on 15 december. September ended his work as an abuse commissioner. His successor in office is professor dr. Alexander schraml.
Four of these charges were against a total of four priests of the wurzburg diocese for sex-related abuse, according to a press release from the wurzburg diocese. Two of the accused priests have already died. A fifth allegation of abuse involved a lay church employee. In addition, there were two accusations of border violations, one against a priest and one against another employee.
Abuse representatives are also responsible for receiving applications for financial benefits in recognition of the suffering of victims. Five applications have been submitted since september 2019. Four recognition payments totaling 15,000 euros have been made. Another application has not yet been finally decided upon. From the beginning of 2021, the procedure for the recognition of suffering, which has been further developed by the german bishops’ conference, will take effect.
More uniform procedure
According to the german bishops’ conference, this is intended to establish a uniform, transparent and more independent procedure for the recognition of suffering in the german dioceses. In the future, payments to victims will be determined by an independent and interdisciplinary body, which will also order the direct payment of benefits. In addition, the dioceses cover the costs of therapy and counseling for couples. The proceedings will begin on 1. January 2021 start