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Response to reports of abuse: Church exits in Bavaria are exploding

Response to reports of abuse: Church exits in Bavaria are exploding

Responding to Reports of Abuse
Church exits in Bavaria are exploding

The abuse report, published in January, casts the Diocese of Munich and Freising in the worst possible light. Many believers seem to draw the consequences from this: the number of people leaving the church is at a dizzying height and is pushing offices to the limit of their capacity.

The number of people leaving church in Bavarian cities exploded after the Munich report on abuse was submitted a month ago. This was the result of a survey of several cities in the Free State. In Munich, the number of people leaving the church doubled, as a spokesperson for the district administration (KVR) reported: “In the first half of January, that is, before the report, we had about 80 church exits per working day in Munich. Since 20 In January, since the reports were released, about 150 to 160 people leave church every working day, twice that number.”

And there could be more. “Demand is definitely three times higher than it was at the beginning of the year,” the spokesman said. But that wasn’t manageable: “The limit here is the limit on our ability, especially in terms of personnel.” KVR has extended working times and use more people. “Despite the extension of working hours and the redeployment of staff, it will likely not be possible to meet all exit requests immediately due to the extremely high demand.”

Many resignations also in Nuremberg

Other cities in Bavaria confirm this trend: between the day the abuse report was submitted on January 20 and February 14, the registry office in Nuremberg reported that 617 people had left the church, 381 from the Catholic Church, 234 from the Protestant church and 2 others. Two years ago – compared to 2020 – the registry had only 372 resignations in this period, of which 200 were Catholic, 165 Protestant and 7 others.

In Ingolstadt, from January 20 to February 17, 254 people announced their withdrawal from the church – in the same period last year there were 84. “The Registry has reported continued high demand for exit dates,” a city spokesperson said. The report by law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, submitted on January 20 and commissioned by the diocese of Munich and Freising itself, concluded that cases of sexual abuse in the diocese have not been adequately handled for decades.

Experts assume at least 497 victims and 235 alleged perpetrators, but at the same time from a much larger number of unreported cases. They raised serious allegations against, among others, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Joseph Ratzinger, whom they accused of fourfold misconduct in dealing with cases of abuse.

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