German church plans abuse research drive

AP News
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Posted: Jul 13, 2011 4:59 PM
German church plans abuse research drive

The Roman Catholic Church in Germany has announced plans to involve outside experts in researching sexual abuse by clergy dating back as far as 1945.

The church presented plans for a pair of research projects on Wednesday.

Revelations of abuse by clergy dating back decades shook the church in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI, last year.

In one of the research projects, the Lower Saxony Criminological Research Institute will analyze data on abuse in nine selected dioceses between 1945 and 2010, and in the other 18 German dioceses from 2000-2010.

The church says material from personnel archives will be passed to researchers by archive employees and trained legal experts.

The second project involves psychiatric experts and aims to build a picture of the people involved in abuse cases.