Saturday, March 20, 2010

Church in Switzerland says pope’s letter enough

The Swiss Bishops Conference says the church in Switzerland does not need to take further steps on sex abuse, saying a letter released by the pope on Saturday was enough.

A spokesman for the Bishops Conference told the Swiss News Agency the interests of victims were already top priority for the church.

Walter Müller on Saturday said the pastoral letter, addressed to the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, was relevant to Switzerland as well.

“The letter confirmed the directives the church established in 2002 for cases of sexual abuse,” Müller said.

Pope Benedict XVI slammed Irish bishops for "grave errors of judgment" in handling clerical sex abuse and ordered an investigation into the Irish church but did not mention any Vatican responsibility.

A group representing victims in Ireland rejected the apology, saying the Vatican had a "deliberate policy of the Catholic Church at the highest levels to protect sex offenders, thereby endangering children."

On Friday Chur diocese in eastern Switzerland said it was looking into ten possible cases of sexual abuse by priests in addition to an estimated 60 cases over the last 15 years reported to the Swiss Catholic Church.

A priest from Chur resigned on Wednesday after admitting to sexually abusing children in the 1970s.

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