800+ abuse cases known in Austria so far

2011-04-13 19:46

Vienna - Over 800 cases of abuse in Catholic institutions in Austria had been reported so far, a commission tasked with investigating abuse cases announced Wednesday.

A total of 837 abuse victims approached the commission, which was set up by the Austrian Catholic Church last year after it was hit by a wave of abuse revelations, commission head Waltraud Klasnic told a media conference.

Three quarters of the victims were male, with the most cases - about 20% - reported in northern Upper Austria province, followed by Vienna and western Tyrol, according to a commission report summarising its first-year findings.

Compensation had meanwhile been paid to 192 abuse victims, it said.

Klasnic, a former conservative governor of southern Styria, said: "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."

She added however that it would take several more years to process the remaining cases.

In cases concerning five Catholic institutions, the files were forwarded to prosecutors, the commission meanwhile noted.

The group was set up in late March 2010 by Vienna's archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, following an avalanche of allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members, but has an independent mandate to investigate claims.

The Austrian Church also announced in June last year that it would create a compensation fund for abuse victims.

This fund had taken care of all the compensation payments so far, commission member and constitutional judge Brigitte Bierlein said on Wednesday.

Most of the allegations of abuse go back to between the 1960s and 1980s.

  • Corry - 2011-04-13 20:18

    thousands marched and protested the movie "The Golden Compass". Yet not one single Catholic has marched to the doors of the Vatican to demand action be taken. Nice

      Thangy - 2011-04-14 13:03

      says a lot!

  • pietpompies2 - 2011-04-13 21:04

    The priests never used condoms, it's prohibited!

  • pietpompies2 - 2011-04-13 21:04

    The priests never used condoms, it's prohibited!

  • pietpompies2 - 2011-04-13 21:10

    The priests never used condoms, it's prohibited!

  • Poaul Zwarts - 2011-04-14 07:45

    Wait, this commission was set up by the catholic church? Where are the authorities on this one? Victims are no doubt pressured into not approaching actual authorities by being given "financial support". So, people are being paid off not to pursue criminal charges and this is seen as a good thing? Come on...

      jdeeathome - 2011-04-14 09:56

      you are wrong. Catholics are first to reveal there faults, unlike most people we recognise that we are not perfect. if a commision has been set by the church then it is because they want to resolve openly there mistakes

  • Poaul Zwarts - 2011-04-14 15:41

    @jdeeathome: Shame on you for defending these child rapists!

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