Bottrop (dpa / lnw) - Two victims of abuse in the diocese of Essen will unveil a memorial stone in front of the St. Cyriakus church in Bottrop on Thursday afternoon. "Decades of abuse by the priest began in this church," said the 56-year-old initiator Markus Elstner from Bottrop to the German Press Agency. The stone is intended to commemorate everyone whose lives have been destroyed by abuse in the church. A church representative from the diocese of Essen also wants to take part in the unveiling. The "WAZ" had initially reported on the revelation.
Elstner was abused by the chaplain in Bottrop as a boy in the 1970s, as the diocese of Essen admits. He has now received recognition payments from the diocese and is a member of an advisory board for those affected to process the events. The chaplain was later transferred to Essen, where he also attracted attention through abuse, as reported by a diocese spokesman. Another victim from the Essen period is a co-initiator of the memorial stone campaign.
A total of at least 28 people - mostly children and young people - are affected by the abuse cases, said the diocese spokesman. The cleric was transferred to the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising in Bavaria in the early 1980s because of the allegations of abuse. There, the abuse continued at various stations, including in Munich and Garching. In the mid-1980s, the clergyman was given a suspended sentence for abuse. He was only retired in 2010 and prohibited from performing church services.
The initiators want to let the memorial stone wander and set it up for a few weeks at all the pastor's places of activity, as Elstner announced.