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Germany: Investigating abuse

Bishop Margot Kässmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover expressed horror about past cases of mistreatment in church-run children’s homes.

An investigation she commissioned to look into the claims found that children were physically and sexually abused in such institutions during the 1950s and 1960s.

“We need to listen to the victims, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice,” she said. “Here we have to bear the blame as an institution, and there is no way to avoid saying this openly and to acknowledge it.”

Klaus-Dieter Kottnik, president of Diakonie, the social welfare agency of the German Protestant churches, said a joint Roman Catholic-Protestant working group is also studying the issue.


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