Swiss Catholic bishops admit sex abuse underestimated

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 21:54

Bern: Swiss Roman Catholic bishops admitted
on Wednesday that they had underestimated the extent of sexual abuse
by the clergy and called on any victims to seek prosecution.

"We humbly admit that we underestimated the extent of the
situation," the Swiss bishop`s conference said in a
statement.
"Those in charge of the diocese and religious orders made
mistakes."

The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland
called on "all those who have suffered abuse" to approach
special clergy offices that deal with such complaints and "if
the need arises, to press charges."

Allegations of sexual molestation by priests have piled
up across Europe after episodes of child abuse were exposed in
Ireland.

The Swiss bishop`s conference said earlier this month it
was examining at least nine "serious" cases of suspected
sexual abuse or harassment in recent years, four of which
involved children.
In recent years the Church in Switzerland has set up
dedicated offices to encourage reporting of sexual impropriety
by priests, investigate allegations, and ensure care for
victims.

However, a leading Swiss priest has called on the Vatican
to set up an international register of Roman Catholic clergy
who have been reported for sex abuse, since many priests
switch diocese or countries.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 21:54

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