More than 300 victims – half of them children under 14 – were abused by 200 Roman Catholic clergy and laymen in Germany’s top diocese between 1975 and 2018 shocking report claims

Hundreds of alleged cases of sexual violence committed by clergy and laymen in Germany’s top diocese have been uncovered in an independent report released on Thursday that was commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church.

The long-awaited 800-page report on the Cologne diocese found 202 alleged perpetrators of sexual assault and 314 victims between 1975 and 2018, Bjoern Gercke, a lawyer mandated by the Church, told reporters.

‘More than half of the victims were children under the age of 14,’ Gercke said, noting the findings show ‘that for decades, apparently no one dared to report such cases’.

However the investigation cleared Cologne’s Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki – a conservative who has long resisted reform – of breach of duty over the abuse.

Most of the allegations cover the tenure of Woelki’s predecessor, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who died in 2017.

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Source: Daily Mail