The Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) does not consider the processing of the abuse scandal in the church to be over for a long time. At the spring plenary meeting in Munich, ZdK Vice President Wolfgang Klose called, among other things, for the establishment of structures for processing cases in Catholic associations.

In addition, it must be clarified how the ZdK, as a lay organization for Catholics, can work together with the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) on the subject. Klose demanded that the committee must take a critical look at the processing in the DBK and the Catholic dioceses: “We are still at the beginning of the processing.”

He thus took stock for the ZdK working group on refurbishment. In the two years since it was appointed, contact with politicians in particular has been intensified. There is “hope that the state will become even more involved and accompany, support and, above all, monitor independent church work more closely and consistently,” said Klose.

Synodal path continues to be an issue

In this context, the General Secretary of the ZdK, Marc Frings, called for Paragraph 174c of the Criminal Code (StGB) to be expanded to include protection against sexual abuse in pastoral relationships.

The ZdK General Assembly is the highest organ of the organization of Catholic lay people. It meets twice a year – and now in Munich for the first time after the conclusion of the so-called synodal path, the reform process in the Catholic Church in Germany, which was extremely controversial from the conservative side.

The Catholic lay faithful in the assembly urged the bishops to abide by the decisions of the Synodal Way and to implement them in their dioceses. “We insist on the implementation of the resolutions of the synodal path in all German dioceses,” said ZdK President Irme Stetter-Karp. “I appeal to the German bishops – to everyone – to live up to their responsibilities.”