Father Zollner: Retired pope should make personal statement on abuse report / Cruxnow.com

Voice of the Faithful has been struggling against the Church’s lack of transparency and accountability around the clergy sexual abuse scandal for 20 years. Read about its programs and projects on its website at www.votf.org.

Following the publication of an experts’ report on how sexual abuse was handled in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, the German Catholic news agency KNA spoke to Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since its creation and president of the Institute of Anthropology: Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.

KNA: Father Zollner, you were questioned by the Munich law office Westpfahl Spilker Wastl beforehand in preparing its experts’ report. What exactly was your contribution?

Zollner: What I knew was that part in which the experts wrote about the potential theological, canonical and systemic consequences. I did not see a single file, not a single statement of a contemporary witness. It was only about the theoretical conclusions of the experts that I offered my assessment.

What’s your evaluation of the final result?

My comments were taken up. Following the reactions of the victims and others, what makes this latest report so valuable is its comprehensive approach. For it deals not only with the legal aspects, but also measures what happened against the church’s self-image. Which, by the way, was also the instruction. Additionally, it shows that an experts’ report that was assigned and paid for by the church can very well be independent. The matters are clearly addressed and the methodology worked: Not only were documents evaluated, but also the victims were included and contemporary witnesses questioned.

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Father Zollner: Retired pope should make personal statement on abuse report / Cruxnow.com