Church seeks “atonement” for suffering of abuse victims
(CS) Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich has issued a decree saying that the Catholic Church acknowledges the victims of sexual violence, and will pay up to 5,000 euros in damages in cases which are time-barred.
The decree comes after a final report of “Hotline Cathol,” a help service for underage victims of sexual and physical assault, as well as a hearing of the bishop's council and as an additional measure to the therapies and support already offered by the church.
“In light of the suffering, which was inflicted on victims of sexualised violence by representatives of the church, the Catholic Church in Luxembourg wishes to make atonement,” the Archbishop writes in the decree.
In order to support preventative measures, 50,000 euros will go to the “Centro de Ação Comunitária esperança do Futuro“ in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
Additionally, in cases where no legal claims can be made due to a lapse of time, the church will pay up to 5,000 euros in acknowledgement of the „suffering“ of victims of sexual abuse. This will be paid aside from the reimbursement of therapy costs.
An independent commission (Marc Fischbach, Marianne Rodesch-Hengesch, Jean-Paul Schmit, Camille Schroeder and Monique Wirion) will assess any claims and decide on the measures to be taken.
Victims of sexual abuse by a representative of the church can make their claim to be acknowledged in this way up to three months after contacting the “Hotline Cathol” or speaking to the church's abuse counsellor.
Applications can be made in writing to Marc Fischbach, B.P. 419, L-2014 Luxembourg.