More than 800 approach Austrian church abuse commission

VIENNA Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:58pm IST

The towers of Votivkirche church are pictured behind traffic signs in Vienna August 10, 2010. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/Files

The towers of Votivkirche church are pictured behind traffic signs in Vienna August 10, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader/Files

Related Topics

VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian commission investigating sexual abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church said on Wednesday over 800 people had come forward to register as victims in the past year.

Over a third of the cases have been settled, the head of the commission, Waltraud Klasnic, told a news conference.

She said the number of complaints showed that the church must screen priests more carefully and look into their mental state before allowing them to qualify.

Klasnic said the commission, which was set up a year ago, was also looking into the structures that allowed such abuse and violence to occur, according to remarks carried by the Austria Press Agency (APA).

Around three-quarters of the 837 complaints involved male victims. The commission does not pass legal judgment but hands over plausible cases to the authorities and most have the cases processed so far have involved compensation.

Abuse scandals in Austrian Catholic institutions have badly damaged the religion's image with a record 87,000 people quitting the church in 2010.

Hundreds of reports of child sexual abuse in Austrian Catholic institutions were triggered by the resignation of an arch-abbot in Salzburg last April after he admitted to sexually abusing a boy 40 years ago.

The abuse crisis has also hit the United States and several other European countries, including the pope's native Germany.

The church plays an important role in Austria, a socially conservative Alpine country of 8 million, where around two-thirds of people described themselves as Catholic in 2008.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
JudyJones wrote:
omg..And Austria is about the size of New Jersey? omg…

How many innocent children have been sexually abused within the powerful catholic church system? One is too many.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
snapjudy@gmail.com
“Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests”
http://www.snapnetwork.org/

四月 13, 2011 5:00am IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

KOREA FERRY TRAGEDY

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Author Marquez Dead

Author Marquez Dead

Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87.  Full Article 

Life Out There?

Life Out There?

Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life.  Full Article 

Nuclear Diplomacy

Nuclear Diplomacy

Iran cuts sensitive nuclear stockpile, key plant delayed - IAEA.  Full Article 

Ukraine Violence

Ukraine Violence

Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence.  Full Article 

Algeria Polls

Algeria Polls

Algeria's Bouteflika camp claims election win, rival alleges fraud.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Death toll from Guinea Ebola outbreak rises to 122.  Full Article 

Snowden & Putin

Snowden & Putin

Runaway spy Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in.  Full Article 

Sectarian Violence

Sectarian Violence

U.S. envoy Power urges Myanmar action to stop Rakhine violence.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage