North Rhine-Westphalia: Researchers present a study on abuse in the diocese in June

Münster (dpa / lnw) - After more than two years of research, historians from the University of Münster will present the result of their work on cases of abuse in the diocese of Münster on June 13th.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Researchers present a study on abuse in the diocese in June

Münster (dpa / lnw) - After more than two years of research, historians from the University of Münster will present the result of their work on cases of abuse in the diocese of Münster on June 13th. It is about the time between 1945 and 2020. After the press conference in the university castle, the five-strong team hands over the report to Münster's Bishop Felix Genn, as the University of Münster announced on Monday. The group led by the historians Thomas Großebölting (formerly at the University of Münster, now a professor in Hamburg) and Klaus Große Kracht presented a first interim report in December 2020 and announced that they wanted to name the responsible bishops and HR managers. The allegations range from salacious comments to serious sexual abuse over many years.

The three bishops Joseph Höffner (1962-1969), Heinrich Tenhumberg (1969-1979) and Reinhard Lettmann (1980-2008) are the focus of research. Several employees at the head of the diocese of Lettmann, who died in 2013, later became bishops in other German dioceses. Among them was the later bishop of Hamburg, Werner Thissen, who was vicar general in Münster and later auxiliary bishop.

Part of the Oldenburger Land in Lower Saxony also belongs to the Diocese of Münster. Around 265,000 Catholics live here in around 40 parishes.

In 2018, a study commissioned by the Bishops' Conference revealed that between 1946 and 2014 at least 1,670 Catholic clergymen are said to have abused 3,677 mostly male minors. However, critics of the study complained that the authors did not have access to original documents in the church archives.

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