Moral Low Ground


Over 800 Sexual Abuse Cases Reported in Austrian Catholic Institutions

('Rape Cross' by Peter van Straaten)

More than 800 cases of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions in Austria have been reported to a special commission established by the church to investigate and deal with such crimes, Agence France-Presse reports. Some 837 victims of alleged Catholic clergy abuse reported their ordeals to the commission, set up last year by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, in the wake of an avalanche of sex abuse revelations, said Waltraud Klasnic, who heads the body. Three-quarters of the alleged abuse victims were male, with compensation paid to 192 victims.

“Over 200 cases have been settled, in the sense that we’ve resolved with the victim what he or she wants, whether it’s an apology, therapy or financial support,” said Klasnic. No word yet on whether the church has been able to return the innocence it stole from the thousands of children and adolescents raped by predatory pedophile priests over the last few centuries.

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