Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pedophile holds youth Mass in diocese of German Bishops' spokesman on child abuse issues

Bistum bekommt Problem mit pädophilen Priestern nicht in den Griff -

Diocese fails to get problem with pedophile priests under control
Stephan Ackermann, the Bishop of Trier and representative of the Catholic Church for dealing with abuse, is again under fire. Pedophile priests are not allowed under the rules of the Church to work with minors. But this happened recently at a church in Ackermann's diocese.

Many parents are outraged about this incident which only took place one and a half weeks ago in a North Saarland parish: of all people a Trier diocesan priest who was convicted seventeen years ago of dozens of sexual assaults on girls and then given a two-year suspended sentence said the Mass at which this year's First Communicants of the parish were presented. There was after the event, "a lot of unrest among the population" the mayor of the parish where the Mass was held told this newspaper.

Previously, in fact, the Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann had at least seven pedophile priests working in his diocese. There are conditions, such that the men should not be used in children's and youth work. But this is, in practice, almost impossible to check, says the pastoral leader of the Catholic Youth Organization KSJ, Jutta Lehnert (Cathcon- she is responsible for youth programmes such as “God is my co-pilot”- a doctrinally
misleading statement if ever there was one). One can come to a sensible conclusion: "Priests who have been convicted should no longer be in the care of souls." This demand was also supported by the victims' organizations and by the Saarbrücken Initiative, founded by church employees and volunteers.

In the parish in Saarland on Tuesday evening, there was an emergency meeting of the Parish Council and pastoral care team. "There was controversy, but the meeting stuck to facts," participants said afterwards. The priest involved was not present. The Bishop's spokesman, Stephan Kronenburg confirmed the incident to a television channel. He expressed understanding that especially parents of First Communicants would find the presence of the priest to be problematic. "The responses show that we have to ask the question of whether and how someone can continue to be credible as a priest, if he has become an abuser," said Kronenburg (Cathcon- that is a question that does not take long to answer- it is “no, he cannot, under any circumstances).

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