German Jesuits offer payment to sex-abuse victims
EarthTimes (« Deutsche Press-Agentur, » January 26, 2011)
Berlin, Germany – Germany’s Jesuit order of Catholic priests is offering to pay 1 million euros (1.36 million dollars) in compensation to some 200 victims of sex abuse.
The offer, equivalent to 5,000 euros per person, was made public on Wednesday. It concerns mostly men who turned to investigators to report suffering a variety of abuses, including semi-naked caning by teachers, at the country’s four Jesuit schools.
The scandal erupted last year, when a Jesuit secondary school in Berlin, Canisius College, wrote to former pupils seeking evidence of sex abuse.
Germany’s Catholic bishops have yet to settle a separate compensation package for people who were abused in parish churches, diocesan schools and other institutions. The Jesuits are a semi- independent institution within the Catholic Church.
Thomas Busch, a Jesuit spokesman in Munich, refused to call the planned payments « compensation, » saying the suffering of the abused could never be put right with money.