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Sexual assault: New documents weigh heavily on Cardinal Woelki

Status: 09/23/2022 06:00 a.m

Cardinal Woelki of Cologne is said to have taken disciplinary action against the former deputy city dean of Düsseldorf much too late. This is proven by new documents that are available to the WDR.

By Jochen Hilgers and Markus Schmitz

It is about a letter from Cardinal Woelki to the then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer. In the four-page letter, probably from autumn 2018, which was leaked to WDR, Woelki meticulously lists various sexual assaults by the pastor against young people.

For example, he is said to have frequently visited the sauna with underage young altar boys and invited them to alcoholic drinks. After that, porn films are said to have been watched together.

He is said to have watched porn films with a 19-year-old in his apartment against the young man’s will and masturbated in his presence. The 19-year-old only managed to leave the clergyman’s apartment at four in the morning.

In Woelki’s letter to Cardinal Ladaria it says at the end: “Your Eminence, I kindly ask for your instructions as to whether and, if so, which steps are necessary in this case. United to you in Christ”.

Late complaint to the public prosecutor’s office

Nothing is known of a reply from Cardinal Ladaria. For example, whether he made a recommendation at all. However, critics see with astonishment that the deputy city dean was apparently only given a leave of absence almost three years later. Apparently, a report to the Düsseldorf public prosecutor was made just as late.

Archbishop apparently instructed hearing

In connection with the Düsseldorf abuse cases, a lawyer has filed a criminal complaint with the Cologne public prosecutor’s office for false affidavit against Woelki. The background: The lawyer doubts that Woelki, as he claims, did not know the Düsseldorf pastor’s personal file in 2017.

On September 4, 2015, however, the pastor had already been invited to a hearing by the Archdiocese’s intervention officer. “In line with the ‘Guidelines for dealing with the sexual abuse of minors’…'”. This letter states that the hearing is being invited “on the instructions of our archbishop, Cardinal Woelki”.

The Archdiocese has so far left unanswered a comprehensive list of questions from the WDR.

The WDR will also report on this topic on September 23, 2022 in the local time on the radio.

Source: wdr.de

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