Sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne
Sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne is part of the abuse scandal of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany . From October 2020, a serious crisis developed in the Archdiocese of Cologne in connection with the dispute over various reports on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese and the handling of those responsible with the abuse cases. Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki came under pressure and the number of people leaving the church skyrocketed.
Development in the 2010s
In 2010, earlier cases of abuse at various boarding schools run by religious orders in the Archdiocese of Cologne became known, first at the Jesuit- run Aloisius College in Bonn, then at boarding schools of the Pallottines , the Minorites and the Redemptorists ( see below ).
The public prosecutor's office in Bonn investigated this year against the caretaker of a parish. The man was suspended from duty and banned from the house. The Aachen public prosecutor's office was investigating a suspicious priest who was living in a nursing home at the time.
In 2010 the Archdiocese published and distributed a brochure on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne, commissioned by the Vicar General Dominikus Schwaderlapp at the time . Only five priests accused of sexual abuse were reported in the document, although more cases were known. In September 2010, Cardinal Joachim Meisner said that after all the evidence had been dealt with , there were four cases in the Archdiocese of Cologne in which the victims were still alive, and that there was still a perpetrator, a priest, who had admitted everything.
In February 2011 the Archdiocese of Cologne suspended a parish priest in Morsbach in Oberberg . This had hidden from the archbishopric that in 2010 he had received a suspended sentence for sexually abusing a child 20 years ago. The archdiocese learned of the case from the victim's lawyer. The matter was referred to the Curia to examine further consequences under canon law.
In the MHG study published by the German Bishops' Conference in 2018, there were reports of 87 clergymen who were accused of abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne. On October 29, 2018, the Archdiocese reported four suspected cases from the 1970s and 1980s to the public prosecutor's office on the basis of more recent information. The four priests had already been sanctioned under canon law and were no longer publicly active in the priestly service after being prohibited by the church.
Criticism of Stefan Heße
On October 14, 2020, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , citing the Bild newspaper , reported that today's Archbishop of Hamburg, Stefan Heße, in his role as head of the human resources department in Cologne, had a priest who is said to have abused his three nieces, “the ecclesiastical like also indirectly withdrawn from secular prosecution ”. Despite a confession, the clergyman was reinstated in pastoral care. Heße denied to the Bild-Zeitung that he was involved in the cover-up of the case and ruled out “having agreed to a procedure in which in cases of sexual abuse of the content of the conversation no minutes are kept or even minutes, files or memos are destroyed in case of doubt should be ". In a subsequent statement, the Archdiocese of Cologne announced that there were no indications of a confession from the available notes from a hearing of the suspected pastor in the Vicariate General. The state investigation that had been opened against the suspect was discontinued in March 2011 after “those affected had exercised their right to refuse to testify”.
Matthias Katsch from the initiative “Eckiger Tisch” suggested that Heße resign. "For me, Archbishop Stefan Heße can no longer perform his office credibly - neither in dealing with those affected nor with a view to reappraising. I think that sooner or later he will have to resign. ”The Münster theologian and canon lawyer Thomas Schüller agreed with this assessment :“ In 2010, Heße would have been legally obliged to initiate a preliminary investigation and to inform the Vatican. If the allegations are confirmed, Heße is no longer tenable as Hamburg's archbishop. ”In November 2020 it became known that Heße temporarily no longer wanted to exercise his office as clergyman assistant to the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) due to the allegations .
Expert opinion from the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl
In 2018, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki , Archbishop of Cologne since 2014, commissioned the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl to provide an expert opinion on sexual abuse in the Archbishopric of Cologne. The report should also deal in particular with the handling of individual responsible persons in the archdiocese of dealing with the crimes. Woelki said repeatedly that clarification also includes naming the names of former leaders who might have made mistakes.
Contrary to previous announcements by the Archdiocese of Cologne, the report was initially not published in October 2020 . Instead, another expert opinion, commissioned by the Vicariate General, appeared on October 16, in which Professors Matthias Jahn and Franz Streng attested the expert opinion of the Westpfahl Spilker Wastl office to considerable methodological errors and came to the conclusion that it was therefore “as a basis for naming responsibility due to action or non-compliance according to church or state criminal law at the level of the decision-makers of the Archdiocese of Cologne no suitable basis ”.
On October 30, 2020, Archbishop Woelki informed the press that he would not publish the Munich report because it had significant methodological deficiencies. The Munich law firm rejected Woelki's allegations. Woelki announced that he would publish an investigation commissioned by other experts by March 18, 2021.
It came to a head in November 2020
The Advisory Board for Affected Persons of the Archdiocese of Cologne initially approved the non-publication of the Munich report. Some members later stated that they had been subjected to pressure and that they had been instrumentalized: "We should deliver the certificate: approved by the advisory board." Several members withdrew from the board in protest; one member spoke of "deliberate misleading" by the archdiocese, as essential information was not made available prior to meetings. The Diocesan Council of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Cologne expressed doubts on the basis of the events, "whether such a metanoia, conversion, and such a new beginning in favor of enlightenment, law and justice is possible on its own from the system of the ruling diocese leadership".
When it became known on November 19, 2020 that Stefan Heße wanted to leave his office as clergyman assistant to the Central Committee of German Catholics, the pressure increased on Woelki to make the opinion he had withheld available to the public, which also contained criticism of Heße . In addition, it became known that Woelki had already confronted Heße and other former responsible persons in the Archdiocese of Cologne in the spring of 2019, saying that they had behaved “illegally in several respects”.
The Central Committee of German Catholics passed a declaration on November 20, 2020, in which it says: “We are currently witnesses to non-transparent processes in the Archdiocese of Cologne. We demand that these be fully disclosed and, in particular, that the results of the report by the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl be made accessible. ”The Society of Catholic Publicists in Germany also called for publication. The Independent Commissioner for Issues of Child Sexual Abuse , Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig , said on November 23 that he had assumed a strong will to come to terms with Woelki so far. But now there are many indications "that Cardinal Woelki could have made a massive mistake with regard to the involvement of those affected, transparency and independence from dealing with the matter." The accusation of cover-up is in the room.
On November 27, 2020, the Archdiocese of Cologne announced that Archbishop Woelki wanted to make the report of the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl available "to interested individuals, especially those affected or journalists", but only after the publication of the new report commissioned by him and only “Within the legally possible framework”. An individual report by the Munich law firm, in which significant deficiencies in the handling of the diocese in one case, has been publicly available on the pages of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger since November 24, 2020.
December 2020 to February 2021
In December 2020, allegations of abuse against two other priests in the archbishopric, the non-fiction author and retired priest F. and the theologian O., who died in Düsseldorf in 2017, became known. In this context, allegations of a hush-money payment and an immoral gag agreement were made against F. as well as the cover-up by superiors in both cases. The Archbishops of Cologne Woelki and Meisner and Auxiliary Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp were criticized for alleged violations of relevant provisions of canon law. Woelki announced an independent investigation into the cases and asked for forgiveness in the 2020 Christmas mass.
On January 5, 2021, the Archdiocese refused to give journalists access to a partially blackened copy of the report by the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl after no journalist was willing to sign a confidentiality agreement. The archbishopric gave legal reasons.
In connection with the unexplained processing of abuse in the Archdiocese, the Diocesan Council of Catholics withdrew from its involvement in the “Pastoral Future Path” reform project in January 2021. The committee called on Woelki and all incumbent and former senior clergymen with personnel responsibility to draw personal conclusions from breaches of duty and misconduct in dealing with cases of sexual abuse.
Two groups of priests, a total of over 50 people, turned to the diocese leadership and complained about a serious loss of credibility of the Catholic Church, which was not only to be found among those who were remote from the Church, but also among many in the communities who were still loyal to the Church ; Even among the priests themselves, a "spreading atmosphere of mistrust, suspicion and resignation" caused an increasing conflict of loyalty. According to the registration authority in the city of Cologne, the number of people leaving the church increased by 70%. The Cologne city dean Robert Kleine confirmed that even convinced Catholics were at a loss when faced with the actions of the diocese leadership, and spoke of a disastrous external effect. He appealed to those responsible to take responsibility and demanded personal consequences for the diocese top from the abuse scandal.
On February 5, 2021, on the initiative of the journalist Martin Lohmann, an online petition with the title “For law and justice, fairness and respectful treatment of one another in our church” started, which advocates a “fair treatment of facts and the person of the Cardinal ”,“ who deserves more solidarity and loyalty, but also respect and fairness, than he sometimes experiences these days ”.
In February 2021, a former pastor suspected of abuse , who last worked as a subsidiar in the Archdiocese of Cologne , committed suicide after the Bonn public prosecutor was involved and the accused was released from his priestly duties.
Expert opinion from the law firm Gercke und Wollschläger
On March 18, 2021, the second report, drawn up by the Gercke und Wollschläger criminal law firm and designated by the Archdiocese as an “independent investigation”, was published on “breaches of duty by diocesan officials of the Archdiocese of Cologne in dealing with cases of sexual abuse” in the period from 1975 to 2018. After reviewing 236 files from this period, it identified 202 suspects of sexual abuse of minors and those under protection and 314 victims. 127 accused were clergy , 66 people belong to the group of lay people , in 9 cases the allegations were not directed against a specific accused. Of the 314 affected, 57% were male and 38% female, 5% were not given any information. 55.1% of them were younger than 14 years old, 13.7% 14–15 years old and 12.1% 16–17 years old; 18.8% had no age information, but were under 18 years of age, 0.3% were adult wards. 9.6% of the allegations related to verbal violation of boundaries, 16.9% to a violation of physical closeness and distance, 31.8% to sexual abuse and 15.3% to serious sexual abuse. Other sexual misconduct accounted for 26.4%.
The law firm saw breaches of duty in 24 church officials because they had not clarified, punished or prevented facts and because they had not made sufficient efforts to help the victims. A third of the cases fell into the responsibility of the late Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner. In 2010, when the abuse cases became publicly known, the latter emphasized that he “did not suspect anything”, but the expert opinion stated that Meisner had kept his own folder with the title “Brothers in the Fog”, “in which he kept documents requiring confidentiality” have. In the opinion of the experts, Meisner, as archbishop, had the opportunity and the duty to create structures that could have established or at least promoted legal clarity and knowledge of norms, so that one could speak of “organizational fault”. The experts saw no misconduct with the current Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki.
The experts named as systemic causes for the deficits in the processing of suspected cases inadequate legislation in the church, ignorance of the law, unclear responsibilities, lack of control, excessive demands and lack of preparation of those dealing with the cases and the decision-makers. They found considerable deficits in the management of files; there were “poison files” separate from the personnel files, which made it difficult to bundle knowledge about a particular priest at one position or person and thus make it difficult to get an overview. In the Archdiocese of Cologne they recognized “occasional efforts by those in charge not to let cases of sexual abuse become public”; however, there are no discernible efforts to “withdraw the perpetrators from punishment or even to enable further acts of abuse. Rather, it was apparently a matter of averting damage to the church's reputation and keeping the individual accused in the system Confidentiality was favored. One should not speak of "systematic cover-up" by those responsible for the Archdiocese of Cologne, but of "systemic or systemic cover-up".
The report was presented by the authors at a press conference in Cologne and handed over to Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki and Peter Bringmann-Henselder from the Advisory Board of the Archdiocese of Cologne.
Immediately after the presentation of the report by the Gercke and Wollschläger law firm, Archbishop Woelki released the former Vicar General and today's Auxiliary Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp as well as the long-time official Günter Assenmacher from their duties, and the next day also Auxiliary Bishop Ansgar Puff at his own request. Schwaderlapp then offered the Pope his resignation as bishop, also the Archbishop of Hamburg, Stefan Heße , who had previously been the main department head of pastoral care staff and vicar general in the Archdiocese of Cologne.
On March 23, 2021 Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki and Vicar General Markus Hofmann informed about specific measures of the Archdiocese, such as the establishment of an independent processing commission, increased recognition benefits for those affected, regular control of accused clergy and lay people, the personnel and organizational strengthening of the intervention as well as the evaluation and Further development of prevention, alignment of the work of the Advisory Board with the DBK guidelines, improved file management through digitization, traceability and security against manipulation as well as changes in priest training through a psychological assessment, a preparatory year with social activities and a stronger involvement of women in training.
Woelki admitted "systemic cover-up" that forced rigorous action. He spoke of "chaos in the administration" and a "system of silence, secrecy and a lack of control"; “Generally there was a lack of compassion, generally there was a lack of empathy”. Personal files may no longer be destroyed in the Archdiocese of Cologne, even if this violates applicable church law. Woelki will work for a reform of canonical law in which existing contradictions between DBK guidelines and church law are to be resolved; also the principle of canon law has to be changed that cases of abuse in church law are sometimes only seen as a violation of the perpetrator's promise of celibacy and not as a violent assault on those affected. Woelki rejected his own resignation because it seemed too easy and wrong to just go and take with you the moral responsibility to protect the reputation of the episcopate and the church; Rather, his moral responsibility leads him to “do everything to ensure that no more mistakes like this happen”.
In the opinion of the church abuse expert Hans Zollner , the measures taken in Cologne were a “far too small step” due to their “purely legal perspective”, at least not a comprehensive explanation. The experts had broken down the misconduct of those responsible into individual parts, which made them appear relatively harmless. There is a lack of an overall picture and a moral assessment. Since 2002 the German bishops had guidelines for dealing with abuse, so that sufficient sensitivity should have existed for the topic; nevertheless, according to Zollner, breaches of duty continued to occur. According to his assessment, it can be assumed that the situation in the other dioceses was not fundamentally different.
In May 2021, the Archdiocese of Cologne set up a “Processing Unit”. It is supposed to organize and implement measures in dealing with sexualised violence that result from the Gercke report and other studies. At the same time, the “Intervention Unit” was increased from three to four employees.
At the end of May 2021, Pope Francis ordered an apostolic visit to the Archdiocese of Cologne. The bishops Johannes van den Hende (Bishop of Rotterdam , Chairman of the Dutch Bishops' Conference) and Anders Cardinal Arborelius OCD (Bishop of Stockholm) should investigate the situation in the Archdiocese and investigate possible wrongdoing by the responsible persons (Cardinal Woelki, Archbishop Heße, Auxiliary Bishop Schwaderlapp and Auxiliary Bishop Puff) in dealing with sexual abuse cases. The two visitors arrived in Cologne on June 7th and had confidential talks for a week; who their interlocutors were remained largely a secret. After their departure, the visitors had to report to the Pope.
Cases in religious orders
Aloisius College in Bonn
As a result of the reports on the Berlin Canisius College , cases of abuse at the Aloisius College in Bonn , also run by the Jesuits , became known. Up to March 2010 there were about 30 known victims. The rector Father Theo Schneider resigned on February 8, 2010 in order to enable a complete investigation. A website was set up in response to the abuse cases. On December 10, 2010, the school presented a comprehensive prevention concept to prevent future cases of abuse.
On February 15, 2011, the final report on the cases of abuse that had come to light at the Aloisius College in the period from 1950 to 2010 was published. In total, information from 175 people about border violations was available for the report. 58 people reported having experienced border violations themselves. A total of 23 people (18 members of the order and 5 secular employees) were burdened. The majority (14 members of the order and 3 secular employees) worked at the Aloisius College in the 1950s and 1960s. 31 out of 58 reports concern a priest who lived and worked at the Aloisius College from 1968 to 2008. There was only one case of intentional cover-up in the early 1960s. The report was therefore unable to confirm the allegation of a systematic cover-up of the cases. Instead, the main criticism was that people usually did not even look. Advice was not followed up; Those responsible declared themselves not responsible or viewed the incidents as individual cases. The final report identified several structural risk factors that would have favored the behavior described. On the one hand, deficiencies in the organizational processes such as the lack of a communication and documentation system were named, but also the earlier system of values and norms of the Jesuit order, which had made possible the abuse of power through a lack of transparency and control as well as tendencies towards isolation . Individual victims of abuse criticized that not all reported incidents were included in this report.
Konvikt Sankt Albert in Rheinbach
On February 18, 2010, the Pallottines announced cases of sexual abuse in the former Konvikt Sankt Albert in Rheinbach near Bonn , which was closed in 1967 . In 2008, a former student stated that he and two other boys had been molested by a father in the early 1960s. The accused father left the order in the 1960s. Wolfgang Niedecken is one of those affected in Rheinbach .
St. Ludwig College in Bonn
There was a College of St. Ludwig of the Minorites in Bonn until 1984 (not to be confused with the College of St. Ludwig of the Franciscans in the Netherlands). The boarding school has been located at the monastery on Brüdergasse since the early 1960s , and from 1969 in a new building in Bonn- Endenich . The diocesan chaplain Damian Mai was the founder and rector of the college. In 1976, he was accused of sexual harassment by students. He then reported himself to the Bonn public prosecutor and in 1977 moved to a boarding school in Würzburg . In 1980, the Bonn public prosecutor's office determined that there had been no criminally relevant offenses. Father Damian remained active in youth work in the dioceses of Würzburg and Bamberg for decades.
In February 2010, a former student at the St. Ludwig College reported that the father had once ordered him into his study and kissed him on the mouth there. In the bedroom he had "wrestled" on the bed with 10 to 13 year old students who only wore underwear. Within a few weeks, other victims confirmed the allegations. Father Damian denied it and spoke of an intrigue . The Würzburg judiciary initiated an investigation, the Würzburg bishop Friedhelm Hofmann put the father on leave. Since more recent allegations against Damian Mai related to attacks in 2000 and 2001, the Minorite Order admitted omissions. After the first allegations, the priest should not have been reinstated in youth work. Subsequently, it became known that as early as 1971, parents of schoolchildren had asked Damian Mai to be transferred because of his harassing behavior. Even then, the public prosecutor's office was investigating, but allegedly found nothing incriminating. During this initial investigation, Father Damian disappeared for two months, then returned and was able to head the St. Ludwig College for another six years. The diocese of Würzburg and the Order of the Minorites jointly declared in October 2010 that they believed Father Damian to be guilty.
Collegium Josephinum Bonn
The Collegium Josephinum Bonn is run as a private school by the Redemptorists and was a boarding school until 1983 . Hermann-Josef Merzbach, as the representative of the Redemptorist Order to investigate the sexual abuse of minors, stated in his second interim report (status: end of August 2011) that a total of 28 students were sexually abused by members of the order in the 1950s and 1960s, including at the Collegium Josephinum in Bonn and at the Herz-Jesu-Kolleg in Glanerbrück, another Redemptorist boarding school. Victims of abuse have joined forces in the association “Victims of abuse Collegium Josephinum Bonn and Redemptorists eV”. They also publish research reports on the Redemptorist Order on its website.
In May 2012, Der Spiegel criticized the fact that a priest at the Collegium Josephinum Bonn should develop a prevention concept against sexual abuse, which had attracted attention in the past with questionable suppository practices towards young people.
- Dioceses report dozen cases of suspected child abuse spiegel.de, February 6, 2010.
- Abuse in the Catholic Church: Liste des Schreckens spiegel.de, March 20, 2010.
- Abuse brochure distributed in Cologne Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, October 14, 2020.
- Diocese of Aachen: 24 priests are accused of child abuse welt.de, September 10, 2010.
- Abuse: Diocese of Cologne suspends pastor wdr.de, February 12, 2011 (archived website).
- Dominikus Schwaderlapp and Stefan Heße: Conditionally ready for clarification zeit.de, October 14, 2020.
- Archbishopric of Cologne reports four cases of abuse to the public prosecutor's office at kath.net, October 30, 2018.
- Daniel Deckers: Cover-up allegation against Archbishop Heße faz.net, October 14, 2020.
- Statement by the Archdiocese of Cologne on current reporting on a possible case of abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne, press release, October 22, 2020.
- Daniel Wirsching: Abuse officer demands more than 50,000 euros for victims Allgäuer Zeitung , October 15, 2020.
- Hamburg Archbishop Heße is coming under pressure spiegel.de, October 21, 2020.
- Daniel Deckers: Archbishop of Hamburg leaves office as clergyman assistant faz.net, November 19, 2020.
- Violent dispute over the report withheld by Woelki aachener-zeitung.de, November 2, 2020.
- The entanglement of the Archdiocese of Cologne , tagesspiegel.de, November 21, 2020.
- Expert opinion on allegations of abuse remains under lock and key sueddeutsche.de, October 30, 2020.
- Matthias Jahn, Franz Streng: Expert opinion on questions of compliance with methodological standards in Part IX ("Personal Responsibilities") as well as Parts III ("Procedure for the investigation"), IV ("The actual background") and VII. ("Assessment of the investigated cases ") of the report of the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, Munich, on the handling of suspected cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne , October 16, 2020 ( PDF ).
- Thomas Fischer: Absolute Absolution spiegel.de, February 5, 2021.
- "Super Gau for the Archdiocese of Cologne": Woelki keeps abuse reports secret n-tv.de, October 30, 2020.
- "Significant Defects". Cardinal Woelki does not want to publish abuse reports Kölnische Rundschau , October 30, 2020.
- Abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne: Instrumentalized Victims? Contribution to the ARD program Monitor , November 12, 2020 (video).
- The findings must be toxic sueddeutsche.de, November 18, 2020.
- Abuse report incriminates Cardinals Meisner and Höffner. kathisch.de, November 18, 2020.
- The truth must now be on the table dioezesanrat.de, November 13, 2020.
- Central Committee calls for Woelki to disclose paper about cases of abuse , deutschlandfunk.de, November 20, 2020.
- Recognize causes - take responsibility - draw consequences. Declaration by the General Assembly of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) zdk.de, November 20, 2020.
- "Facing the Truth" - GKP for dealing with sexual abuse Society of Catholic Publicists in Germany.
- Abuse officer sharply criticizes Cardinal Woelki from Cologne tagesspiegel.de, November 23, 2020.
- Investigation into abuse: Cardinal Woelki wants to show individual persons withheld reports rnd.de, November 27, 2020.
- Letter from the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl to the Intervention Unit in the General Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Cologne on the case of a pastor in retirement, August 1, 2019 ( PDF ).
- Rudolf Gehrig: The case of "Pastor F." in the Archdiocese of Cologne. catholicnewsagency.com, December 11, 2020.
- Cardinal Woelki comments on cover-up allegations: "Investigation leaves no one out" domradio.de, December 10, 2020.
- An unpublished study and its consequences domradio.de, December 25, 2020.
- Reading and Silence sueddeutsche.de, January 6, 2021
- Archdiocese of Cologne: Access to expert reports only with a declaration of confidentiality. WDR , January 5, 2021
- Cologne Diocesan Council refuses further cooperation with Woelki kathisch.de , January 29, 2021.
- exit in Cologne - incendiary letters from pastors to Cardinal Woelki kathisch.de , January 28, 2021.
- Cologne city dean warns in the debate about abuse reports domradio.de, February 1, 2021.
- Online petition for Cardinal Woelki started domradio.de, February 5, 2021.
- Praeses: Due to events in Cologne also resignations from Protestanten kathisch.de, February 13, 2021.
- Former pastor suspected of abuse commits suicide spiegel.de, February 22, 2021.
- Independent investigation now available online Archdiocese of Cologne, March 18, 2021.
- Law firm Gercke / Wollschläger: Expert opinion. Breaches of duty by those responsible for the diocese of the Archdiocese of Cologne in dealing with cases of sexual abuse of minors and wards by clerics or other pastoral employees of the Archdiocese of Cologne in the period from 1975 to 2018 , March 18, 2021 (PDF).
- Law firm Gercke / Wollschläger: Expert opinion , March 18, 2021 (PDF), pp. 40–51.
- Law firm Gercke / Wollschläger: Expert opinion , March 18, 2021 (PDF), p. 27.
- Raoul Löbbert: Brüder im Nebel zeit.de, March 18, 2021.
- Abuse: Woelki draws conclusions. Expert opinion exonerates the Cologne cardinal . Berliner Zeitung , March 19, 2021, p. 1.
- Chancellery Gercke / Wollschläger: Expert opinion , March 18, 2021, pp. 721–748.
- According to expert opinion: Auxiliary Bishop Puff provisionally exempted on catholic.de, March 19, 2021.
- First consequences from Gercke reports in the 8-point plan erzbistum-koeln.de, March 2021.
- Expert opinion in the Archdiocese of Cologne: Woelki admits "systemic cover-up" Kölnische Rundschau , March 23, 2021.
- Ulrich Waschki: Consequences of abuse reports: Will further resignations result? Publishing group diocese press , March 25, 2021.
- Processing continues: Cardinal Woelki sets up a new processing unit domradio.de, May 6, 2021.
- Consequences from the expert opinion: Archdiocese of Cologne establishes the department for dealing with abuse kathisch.de, May 6, 2021.
- Vatican sends Apostolic Visitators to Cologne: Auditors from Sweden and the Netherlands domradio.de, May 28, 2021.
- Pope's examiner arrived in Cologne for a visit: Arrival through the domradio.de underground car park , June 7, 2021.
- Apostolic visitors end the investigation in Cologne: Also spoken to Cardinal Woelki domradio.de, June 15, 2021.
- The Minutes of Shame bild.de, March 14, 2010.
- Chronology of the attacks zeit.de, April 8, 2010.
- Investigation-aloisiuskolleg.de (archived website).
- Guide to the prevention and intervention of sexual violence against children and adolescents , December 6, 2010. Download under Documents on child protection at the AKO .
- Joachim Heinz: Bonn Jesuit School presents guidelines against abuse: Fear-free and non-violent learning Domradio , December 10, 2010.
- Julia Zinsmeister et al .: Severe border violations to the detriment of children and adolescents in the Aloisiuskolleg Bonn-Bad Godesberg. Final report on the investigation on behalf of the German Province of the Jesuits , February 15, 2011 ( PDF ).
- Peter Wensierski: Muzzle threatens victims of abuse spiegel.de, March 2, 2011.
- abuse at the Rheinbacher Pallottiner Boarding School General-Anzeiger , February 19, 2010.
- Konvikt St. Albert: BAP front man Niedecken confirms abuse welt.de. April 14, 2010.
- Assaults also on St. Ludwig in Endenich General-Anzeiger, March 18, 2010.
- Franciscan Order: Father kissed pupil Frankfurter Rundschau, February 20, 2010.
- Traces of a "Corruptor of Souls" General-Anzeiger, March 23, 2010.
- Church considers Father Damian guilty of sexual abuse mainpost.de, October 4, 2010.
- Hermann-Josef Merzbach: 2nd interim report , November 7, 2011 (PDF)
- Clarification and processing by the order abuseopfer-josephinum-redemptoristen.de
- Julia Jüttner: Father L. and the suppositories spiegel.de, May 7, 2012.