Munich abuse report secures many new church outings in Bavaria

January 20, 2022 seems to be a memorable date for many devout Catholics in Germany in the future. On this day, the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) published an expert opinion on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church between 1945 and 2019. The result came as a shock to many believers, a deep disappointment with the core values ​​of their existence.

Now the last digits give a representative survey in the name of the German press agency (dpa) that the details of the content of the failure of the Archdiocese of Munich bring to the Catholic Church lasting effects, this is observed especially in Bavaria.

the dpa wanted to learn from several towns in the Free State how the report presented in relation to requests to leave the church. The result shows that in Bavaria, the registry offices in some places register twice as many people leaving the church as before. An expert assumes a record release in 2022. A spokesperson for the district administration department (KVR) shared the dpa with:

“In the first half of January, i.e. before the report, we had around 80 people leaving the church per working day in Munich. Since January 20, i.e. since the report, there have been approximately 150 to 160 withdrawals from churches per working day. So about twice as much. “

The Archbishop of Bamberg, Ludwig Schick, commented on the findings of the abuse report that “too many officials have committed terrible, culpable or negligent acts, knowingly or unknowingly concealing them or preventing their disclosure”. Literally send:

“Clericalism, hierarchical exaltation, the formation of cliques, cliques and the abuse of power are the causes.”

strong dpa Bavarian municipalities assume that the massive number of people leaving the church will continue for the foreseeable future. Demand for matching apps is currently three times higher than at the start of this year, a spokesperson told the dpa. But this volume of work is difficult to manage in the long term. Capacity limits have already been reached on the staff needed to handle the processes, although the district administrative departments have already extended opening hours and deployed more people. This results in the problem that “due to very high demand, it will probably not be possible to meet all release requests in a timely manner”.

Religious educator Ulrich Riegel named opposite the dpa Other reasons for the huge increase in the number of people wanting to leave the church:

“On the one hand, the said report was much clearer than the previous ones, because it named specific people. On the other hand, Joseph Ratzinger was one of the recipients who, as papa emeritus, had a greater public impact than, for example, the bishops of Cologne and Munich. Ratzinger’s reaction to the report may well have confirmed many of the accusations being made about the church’s handling of abuse.

In Regensburg, the city where Ratzinger lived and worked as a professor of theology and where he visited his brother Georg shortly before his death in 2020, the registry office counted around 550 people leaving the church since the start. of the year – compared to 269 in the entire previous year, according to information dpa.

Other towns in Bavaria confirm loud and clear To concentrate this trend“Between the day the abuse report was submitted on January 20 and February 14, the Nürnberg registry office reported 617 people leaving the church, of whom 381 were from the Catholic Church, 234 from the Protestant Church and 2 others. Two years ago – in the comparison year 2020 – this was the case Civil Status Office in this period only 372 resignations, including 200 Catholics, 165 Protestants and 7 others.”

In Ingolstadt, from January 20 to February 17, 254 people declared their resignation from the church – at the same time last year there were 84. Current events are forcing a general trend in Germany to leave the church as a member. In the city of Essen in North Rhine-Westphalia, the number of church outings has also already doubled compared to 2020. 4145 church outings mean a new record in 2021, in 2020 there were a total of 2809, so information the daily news. In 2021, 155,322 people across North Rhine-Westphalia have decided to leave the church. That would be as high as ever before in statistics dating back to 2011, according to information provided to the Daily News.

Abuse report content is included 1893pages a total of 497 alleged victims of sexual abuse. Among them, 247 were men and 182 were women. In 68 cases, a clear assignment could not be made. The 8-14 age group was clearly overrepresented among male and female victims at 59% and 32%, respectively. Experts are raising serious allegations against, among others, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, whom they accuse of quadruple fault in handling abuse cases.

The Catholic canon lawyer Thomas Schüller from the University of Münster reportedly said that it is currently not possible to see how the “sliding of the churches” can still be stopped. Schuller fears:

“With these figures, the Catholic Church sinks into the abyss of its insignificance. The Catholic Church in its well-known social form is dying without hope of return.

Regardless of current events and current dynamics, 221,390 people in Germany had already left the Catholic Church in 2020, almost the same number of around 220,000 from the Protestant faith community.

More on the subject – ‘Shaken and ashamed’: Cardinal Marx comments on Munich abuse report

Jerry B. Hatch