The study also highlighted a systematic cover-up within the church. “Church criminal law was scarcely enforced for much of the study period. 

Instead, many cases were deliberately concealed or minimized,” the report stated. 

It further revealed that Church leaders often transferred accused clerics, sometimes internationally, to evade secular prosecution.

The report summary indicated that 39% of the victims were female, while just under 56% were male. “In almost all cases, the accused were men, and 74% of the evaluated files evidenced sexual abuse of minors,” the report added.

Gmür emphasized the need for future studies to explore “Catholic specifics” that may have contributed to the abuse, such as sexual morality and celibacy. “This guilt cannot simply be erased. It must be confronted, focusing on the Church’s power dynamics and sexual ethics,” he said.

The Swiss Bishops’ Conference pledged to take action. “We will establish and fund independent reporting offices to facilitate the reporting of abuses,” Gmür said, according to CNA Deutsch.

Gmür also stated that all related documents would be preserved indefinitely to prevent further cover-ups.

On Sunday, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference disclosed an ongoing Vatican-led investigation into handling abuse allegations, expected to conclude by the end of the year.