MAGDEBURG, GERMANY – A Catholic diocese in Germany has paid compensation to a man who was sexually abused as an altar boy by a priest who has since died, according to an unconfirmed report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

It said Norbert Denef, whose ordeal began at the age of 9, had received 25,000 euros from the Catholic diocese of Magdeburg in eastern Germany. Denef had first sought compensation in 1993.

Approached by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa for comment Saturday, diocesan spokesman Thomas Lazar was unable to confirm the story.

„I don’t know of any compensation payment,“ he said.

Spiegel said Denef had been abused between 1958 and 1964 by a parish priest, and then by a church choirmaster, in Delitzsch, near the eastern city of Leipzig. A prosecution today for crimes decades ago would fail because it would be out of time. The priest is dead.

In the report for publication on Monday, the magazine said Denef had been seeking compensation for 12 years.

In 2003 the diocese had sought a commitment from Denef to keep the case confidential as a condition for a settlement, but had agreed in the end to compensation without that clause.

The willingness to pay compensation follows a decision in 2002 by the German Catholic Church to deal openly with child-sex allegations against priests and to clearly place the victim’s interests first.


Expaticas German