Sunday, July 07, 2024

Independent commission rejects criticism from the advisory board of those affected

The Independent Commission for Recognition Services has rejected the criticism from victims of sexualised violence in the church. 

The Independent Commission regrets the "confrontational approach" of the German Bishops' Conference's Advisory Council for Victims of Sexualised Violence, announced Chairwoman Margarete Reske in Bonn on Wednesday.

The Advisory Council represents the interests of people who have been victims of abuse in the church. 

In a statement on Monday, the advisory board repeatedly criticised the lack of transparency in the recognition procedures. There had been a dispute over a panel discussion at the Katholikentag in Erfurt, among other things, in which one participant allegedly claimed that, on average, decisions on applications were made within three and a half minutes in the commission.

Reske has now refuted this. 

In fact, several members prepare each case for the meetings, often by studying the files for several hours. Each case is discussed in the commission until a common result is reached.

Decisions for all dioceses

The Independent Commission processes applications for recognition benefits for victims of sexual abuse from all 27 dioceses and decides on the amount of benefits to be paid out. 

The commission is active nationwide so that comparable decisions are made. It is made up of experts from the fields of law, medicine and psychology.

The advisory board for those affected had also once again demanded written reasons for the decisions. Reske referred to the rules of procedure laid down by the Bishops' Conference. 

The Commission will not comment on any demands made by the Advisory Council on the Rights of Persons Concerned in connection with a necessary amendment to the Rules of Procedure, as they are directed at the authors of the Rules of Procedure and not at the Commission, according to the statement.