Swiss bishops order study on past abuse

The Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln, Switzerland, where in 2010 officials confirmed allegations of child abuse of former pupils at the abbey’s school in the 1970s (CNS/Christian Hartmann, Reuters)

The Swiss bishops conference and the nation’s conference of religious orders have commissioned an independent study of sexual abuse cases within the Swiss Church during the second half of the 20th century. Source: NCR Online.

In a statement released on Monday, the bishops conference said two history professors from the University of Zurich – Monika Dommann and Marietta Maier – will assemble and lead a team of researchers who will begin their work by March 2022.

“Many people have suffered greatly as a result of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland,” the statement said. Undertaking “a scientific re-examination is first and foremost a duty to the victims, especially to learn lessons for the future.”

The announcement came after the October release of a report in France by an independent commission which estimated that more than 330,000 children had been abused by Church personnel there since the 1950s.

In early November, the Portuguese bishops conference announced the creation of a national commission to support local dioceses in their investigations into current and historic cases of sexual abuse.

The Swiss bishops’ conference said that the mandate given to those leading the study “excludes any interference in the project on the part of the clients or third parties”.

An independent study, the statement said, “serves to bring justice to the victims” and “show how the voice of victims should be taken into account in the future.”

FULL STORY

Swiss bishops order study on past sexual abuse (By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS via NCR Online

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