Giáo hội Công giáo ở Đức đã bị chấn động trong những ngày gần đây về sự
phát hiện hàng loạt các trường hợp lạm dụng tình dục. Gần 100 linh mục và
các thành viên thế tục đã bị nghi ngờ lạm dụng trong những năm gần
đây. Sau nhiều năm bưng bít, bức tường của sự im lặng dường như đang vỡ ra.
Đây là những gì có vẻ như là tài liệu của một âm mưu: 24 trang, với
các phụ lục bằng tiếng Latin, được xuất bản bởi các Tu Hội cho Học
thuyết của Đức Tin tại Vatican. Một "Tiêu Chuẩn Nội Bộ", hoặc các hướng dẫn
bí mật cho tất cả các giám mục, những người này bị bắt buộc phải giữ bí mật
cho những gì vĩnh cửu, nhân danh Cha, Con và Thánh Thần.
Các tài liệu hướng dẫn được ban hành trong năm của Chúa chúng ta, năm 1962, đề cập đến
một chủ đề nhạy cảm: tình dục trong tôn giáo. Vatican không đặt
vấn đề trực tiếp như thế, chỉ dùng thuật ngữ tránh né để mô tả những gì xảy ra
khi một linh mục dẫn một thành viên lạc lối, trước, trong hoặc
sau khi xưng tội - nói cách khác, khi ông khơi gợi việc đền tội "về
hướng không tinh khiết và tục tĩu" bằng từ ngữ hay dấu hiệu
hoặc gật đầu (hoặc) bằng cách chạm vào, sờ vào người đó. "
Theo các hướng dẫn của La Mã, các giám mục đã được huấn luyện vững chải để đối
phó với từng trường hợp cá nhân - thực ra, chắc chắn tất cả
mọi chuyện có thể ở trong sự giam cầm của Hội Thánh. Sau cùng,
Tu Hội của Học Thuyết Đức Tin - trước đây được gọi là Cơ Quan Điều Tra - có
kinh nghiệm trong nhiều thế kỷ điều tra nội bộ. Vatican luôn luôn
cung cấp đủ tất cả các chức vị trong những cuộc điều tra như vậy - công tố viên, bị cáo, thẩm
phán - từ trong các phẩm trật riêng của mình, trong khi các tài liệu điều tra đã được
lưu giữ trong kho lưu trữ bí mật của Giáo Triều La Mã.
(xin đọc tiếp dưới đây)...
Shame and Fear
Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal
Catholic Church in Germany has been shaken in recent days by revelations of
a series of sexual abuse cases. Close to 100 priests and members of the
laity have been suspected of abuse in recent years. After years of
suppression, the wall of silence appears to be crumbling. By SPIEGEL Staff.
what it looks like, the document of a conspiracy: 24 pages, with appendix,
in Latin, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the
Vatican. A "norma interna," or confidential set of guidelines for all
bishops, who were required to keep it a secret for all eternity, in the name
of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
guidelines, issued in the year of our Lord 1962, address a sensitive
subject: sex in the confessional. The Vatican doesn't put it quite that
directly, preferring to use more guarded terminology to describe what
happens when a priest leads a member of his flock astray before, during or
after the confession -- in other words, when he provokes a penitent "toward
impure and obscene matters" through "words or signs or nods of the head (or)
The Dark Side of the Church:
According to the instructions from Rome, the
bishops were to deal very firmly with each individual case -- so
firmly, in fact, that everything would remain within the confines of
the Holy Church. After all, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith -- formerly known as the Inquisition -- has centuries of
experience in conducting internal investigations. The Vatican has
always filled all the positions in such investigations --
prosecutors, defendants, judges -- from within its own ranks, while
the investigation files have been kept in the secret archives of the
surface, the Vatican's objective is to protect the sacrament of the
confession. In reality, however, it is trying to uphold the Catholic
Church's claim to being a superior moral authority.
can be allowed to besmirch this authority: not the sexual abuse of children
and adolescents, committed by thousands of Catholic priests worldwide; not
the secret relationships between pastor and their housekeepers; not the
covering-up of priests' children; and not the love affairs between gay
clerics. They are all cases of a double standard that arose because it is
difficult for people -- even priests -- to subordinate their human desires
to a papal encyclical.
of silence has been upheld for decades, in some cases informally and in some
cases by virtue of Vatican directives like the 1962 guideline.
the wall of silence is coming down here in Germany. It started when Berlin's
Canisius College, an elite Jesuit high school, recently disclosed the sordid
past of a number of members of the order, who had abused students at the
school in the 1970s and 1980s. After that, new victims began coming forward
on a daily basis. By last Friday, at least 40 of them had accused three
Jesuit priests of molesting children and adolescents, first in Berlin and
later at the St. Ansgar School in Hamburg, the St. Blasien College in the
Black Forest and in several parishes in the northern German state of Lower
shocking as the revelations were, they are merely "the tip of the iceberg,"
says the current director of Canisius College, Father Klaus Mertes, who made
public the sexual abuse of students.
decades, German bishops tried to look the other way when their pastors
engaged in sexual abuse, as well as to downplay the problem by
characterizing it as isolated incidents. Now they are finally revealing
their own figures, though hesitantly. According to a SPIEGEL survey of
Germany's 27 dioceses conducted last week, at least 94 priests and members
of the laity in Germany are suspected or have been suspected of abusing
countless children and adolescents since 1995. A total of 24 of the 27
dioceses responded to SPIEGEL's questions.
called the Round Table for Care in Children's Homes recently published an
interim report which contains dramatic findings. The report deals with the
wrongs committed since the 1950s against children and adolescents living in
homes, almost half of which were run by the Catholic Church.
to the report, more than 150 victims of sexual abuse have come forward with
their stories in recent months. One of them is a woman who, as a 15-year-old
girl, had to sit in the confessional and watch a priest masturbate. When she
tried to get away from him, she was beaten by the nuns who ran the home.
There has never been a systematic investigation into how many Catholic
schools, homes and rectories were the scenes of abuse, even when there was
evidence in the files. The Round Table group plans to present its final
report at the end of the year.
Protecting Offenders, Ignoring Victims
is currently passing through the Catholic Church in Germany. It could be
merely the beginning of an earthquake of proportions which have so far only
been seen in the American and Irish Church. Tens of thousands of abuse cases
were brought to light in both countries. Could Germany be next?
scandal is just beginning, and yet it has already made a deep impression: on
parents, who expect Catholic schools to provide their children with moral
guidance; on the victims, who are now confronting their dark past after
living with it half their lives; and on the faithful, who now regard their
church with dismay. Their shock stems not only from the fact that there are
pedophiles in the church, as there are elsewhere in society. It also comes
from the fact that the church systematically protected the perpetrators and
ignored the victims, and that it repressed and covered up sexual abuse in
its own ranks for decades -- and in doing so enabled pedophile priests to
leave behind a trail of emotional devastation throughout Germany.
day, the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Archbishop of Freiburg
Robert Zollitsch, has not offered any convincing words of apology or
emphatic gestures of redress to the victims of the church's double standard.
After vacillating for days, he finally decided not to grant SPIEGEL an
interview. The official Church prefers not to allow the suffering of its
victims to become a major issue, because it doesn't fit into the Church's
Bishops' Conference will not even address the sex scandals until Feb. 22.
"The revelations show a dark side of the church that scares me," says the
Jesuit Hans Langendörfer, secretary of the Bishops' Conference. "We
expressly want an investigation."
Nevertheless, the clerics are still a long way from any sort of true
self-criticism or far-reaching analysis, because it would require them to
examine the Church's repressed sexual morality that is dictated from above.
It would require an honest discussion about celibacy and its consequences,
particularly when it comes to the Church's recruitment practices. In a
church that is having trouble attracting men to the priesthood, particularly
as a result of the ban on marriage, the number of good candidates has become
so small that too many inappropriate candidates get admitted.
mean that the church will continue to pursue its policy of hemming and
hawing, and of avoiding the important questions, as it has already done so
often? It will be difficult to carry on like that, now that the Jesuits'
offensive has put the entire clergy under pressure. The order intends to
systematically investigate abuse in its own ranks, as painful as that effort
will be and even if the growing number of revelations by former students
plunge it into what is likely to be the deepest crisis in Jesuit history.
Father Stefan Dartmann, the head of the Jesuit order of Germany, says that
an "immense tragedy is now becoming apparent."
are justified, as more and more former students come forward. In addition to
the Canisius College and the schools in St. Ansgar and St. Blasien, there
have now been revelations of abuse at the Jesuits' Aloisius College in
Bonn's Bad Godesberg neighborhood, where entire generations of children of
politicians and diplomats went to school.