globalpost 21.09.2011

…That excuse hasn’t satisfied many victims. “The pope is responsible for what he knows and what he doesn’t know,” said Norbert Denef, head of Netzwerk B, an organization working on behalf of church abuse victims. “He’s politically responsible for what happens beneath him. He can’t take himself out of the equation and say ‘I didn’t know about it.’”

Denef was sexually abused by a priest in the town of Delitzsch from the age of 10 through 16, and again for another two years by the church’s organist. He received €25,000 (about $34,000) in compensation in 2005. He says one diocese even asked for his secrecy in return for a payout. He refused.

“That abuse that I suffered from between the ages of 10 and 18 has followed me my entire life, day and night, until today,” said Denef.

The abuse cases and cover-up shook the German public, prompting calls for investigations and action. More than a year later, a government-appointed panel recommended compensation of €5,000 ($6,875) each for victims of abuse in Catholic foster homes. And a Benedictine monastery in the state of Bavaria recently ruled it would dole out between €5,000 and €20,000 ($6,875 and $27,500) to some 70 former students after systematic abuse was uncovered there last year. Victims have called these compensation sums humiliating.

“They gambled away the people’s trust,” said Denef….

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