547 boys suffered massive abuse in German Catholic choir: Report

547 children in Germany's world-famous Regensburger Domspatzen boy's choir have been confirmed as victims of sexual and physical abuse: Report from Catholic abuse scandals.

Published: 18th July 2017 06:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2017 06:42 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.


BERLIN: At least 547 children in Germany's world-famous Regensburger Domspatzen boy's choir have been confirmed as victims of sexual and physical abuse, a report on one of the biggest Catholic abuse scandals in the German history showed on Tuesday.

There was for decades a "system of fear" with beatings and sexual abuse, Xinhua news agency cited the report, released after a two-year inquiry that spanned cases between 1945 and the early 1990s, as shown.

Seven years after the first cases became public, the report put the number of incidents of physical abuse at 500 and incidents of sexual abuse at 67.

The Roman Catholic diocese of Regensburg and the choir had subsequently assigned lawyer Ulrich Weber to conduct an inquiry into the scandal.

Some of the victims described their membership of the choir as the worst time of their lives and likened the experience to a "prison", "hell", and a "concentration camp".

An intermediary report in early 2016 had contained a much lower estimate of 231 abused children. The number of victims in the final report has now more than doubled.

Cases of abuse were particularly concentrated in the choir's pre-school. According to Weber, 49 suspects who stand accused of having perpetrated the crimes were identified after two years of investigation.

"The content of the documentation is hard," Ulrich Weber said. "Many affected former students described the between 1945 and 1992 as the worst of his life, marked by violence, fear and helplessness."

Hundreds of former choir singers responded to requests for information. Those affected are to receive around 20,000 euros ($23,115) of compensation payments.

The bishop of Regensburg, Rudolf Voderholzer, apologised to victims in 2016. "I cannot make it undone, I can only ask the victims for forgiveness," Voderholzer then said.

Voderholzer's predecessor, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, was accused of having obstructed investigations into the scandal and claimed that the media was exaggerating the extent of abuse.

Former choir director Georg Ratzinger, the brother of Pope Benedict XVI, had denied any knowledge of sexual abuse.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp