Two leading German publications are saying a report on sexual abuse in Germany inside the Catholic Church has come to light detailing 3,677 abuse cases by Catholic clergy between 1946 and 2014.
Spiegel Online and Die Zeit are saying the report was commissioned by the German Bishops Conference and researched by three universities and concludes that more than half of the victims were 13 years old or younger. The majority of the victims were boys.
According to Fox News, every sixth case involved rape and no less than 1,670 clergymen were involved in the abuses.
According to the news outlets, the report says that the number of victims is likely much higher than what was reported.
Die Zeit reported that researchers were not actually allowed to look at the original files but were asked to submit questionnaires to the dioceses.
Die Zeit’s researchers noted that there was evidence that some files were manipulated or destroyed, several cases were not brought to justice and some abuse suspects were moved to other dioceses without the congregations being informed of the accusations against them.
At this time the German Bishops Conference had no comment on the report but are currently preparing a response.
In the last several months the Catholic Church has been under scrutiny for sexual abuse by clergy.
In August, an investigation in the United States found that more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by around 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.
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