German Protestant church issues apology for sexual abuse by clerics

"We ask the victims for forgiveness"
The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, the second largest Protestant Church in Germany, is the latest church body to apologize to victims of sexual abuse in their institutions.

The vice-president of the church, Petra Bosse-Huber, said on March 22 in Duesseldorf, “We are ashamed and upset that such infringements apparently also happened in our church and in our social welfare department. We ask the victims for forgiveness.”

Her apology came just days after Pope Benedict XVI apologized for abuses that had occurred in Roman Catholic institutions in Ireland and been kept under wraps for decades. Irish bishops, Benedict said, had “failed, at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse,” thus enabling abusers to strike again.


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