CNN - March 22, 2010
New Catholic child abuse allegations surface
by Frederik Pleitgen, CNN
Berlin, Germany (CNN) -- Four Catholic priests and two nuns have been accused of sexually abusing children in Germany's diocese of Regensburg, the diocese confirmed Monday.
Five of the six cases date back to the 1970s, while the sixth is from 1984, the diocese said. The six clergy members are all still alive. Seven people have come forward with the allegations.
The diocese said it is cooperating with the police, and two of the cases have been handed over to judicial authorities.
Hundreds of people in Germany have claimed this year that they had been abused by Catholic clergy when they were children. Some allege the abuse was sexual, while others refer to physical violence such as slapping.
Pope Benedict XVI -- who is German -- issued a pastoral letter Saturday about child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Ireland, but did not mention the allegations in Germany or other European countries.
German lawyers representing alleged victims say there are more than 300 cases across Germany. Some of the cases date back to the 1950s.
On Friday, a psychoanalyst told CNN that the archdiocese headed by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- who is now the pope -- ignored warnings in the 1980s to keep a molester in its ranks away from children.
Werner Huth, a psychoanalyst, said he specifically demanded that the Rev. Peter Hullermann never be allowed to interact with kids again. But instead, Huth said, the church allowed the priest to return to work and even deal with children.
In 1986, the priest was convicted of abusing minors. He was sentenced to 18 months incarceration, which under German law he was able to serve on probation without going to jail. He also paid a fine of 4,000 deutschmarks (about $2000 at the time).
Afterward, he resumed work in the church and continued to work with children. Hullermann was suspended early in March as information about his past came to light.
Huth, who says he regularly did psychoanalytical evaluations for the Catholic church, said he does not believe Pope Benedict XVI was ever aware that Hullermann had been returned to service. But Huth said he warned other church officials about Hullerman's pedophilia many times.
Huth told CNN that Hullermann was in therapy at his practice from 1980 to 1992.
Allegations of child abuse by Catholic clergy have also been reported in the Netherlands and Austria, in an echo of the scandal that shook United States dioceses from Boston to Los Angeles starting a decade ago.
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Expatica.com March 22, 2010
Swiss priest arraigned on suspected child abuse: police
A Swiss Catholic priest has been held on suspicion of sexual abuse against children, police and media said Monday, amid child sex abuse scandals at churches in several European countries.
Regional police in canton Thurgau said in a statement that a Catholic priest in the village of Aadorf had appeared before a local court last Friday on suspicion of sexual offences.
"Investigations by cantonal police found evidence of possible offences by the 40 year-old Swiss man against minors," they said, adding that local investigating magistrates had taken up the case.
The Swiss news agency ATS reported that he was placed in custody.
A spokesman for Thurgau police, Rolf Mueller, declined to give details on the investigation.
Switzerland's Roman Catholic church said on Saturday it was examining at least nine "serious" cases of suspected sexual abuse or harassment by priests in recent years, including four on children.
The probe came as child sex abuse scandals hit other Catholic churches in Europe.
Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday expressed "shame and remorse" for episodes of child sex abuse in Ireland, and said priests and religious workers who are guilty of child abuse must answer for their crimes.
Since the Irish cases emerged, abuse scandals have come to light in the pope's native Germany and the Netherlands, as well as in Switzerland
Last week a Swiss priest confessed to sexually abusing children in Austria and Germany in the 1970s, Catholic church authorities said. The case was referred to Austrian police.
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German archdiocese led by the future Pope Benedict repeatedly ignored psychiatrist's warnings about pedophile priest
Dutch radio reveals Catholic abuse scandal in the Netherlands, church authorities refuse to admit and discuss past abuses