There have been over 420 cases of abuse in the Ruhr Diocese since it was founded 65 years ago. This is the result of a study that has now been presented. The number is higher than expected.
Since its foundation, 423 cases of sexual abuse have been reported in the Ruhr Diocese, mainly by priests and religious. The number is significantly higher than previously known. The diocese announced this when presenting an independent study by the Munich institute IPP on abuse in the Ruhr diocese.
The diocese speaks of 201 accused by February 2023 - mainly priests from the Ruhr diocese and other dioceses, deacons and religious of different genders. Perpetrator careers sometimes stretched over several decades, said the head of the IPP research team, Helga Dill.
"Abuse is not just a problem for the perpetrators, but a systemic problem for the church," said Ruhr Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck immediately before the study was presented. The Ruhr diocese, founded in 1958 with around 720,000 Catholics in the Ruhr area and Sauerland, describes itself as the smallest diocese in Germany in terms of area. So far, as of 2020, 99 people across the diocese were known to have been victims of sexual abuse.