The German Catholic Church called off an independent review of allegations of sexual abuse in its ranks this week. The head of the investigation accused the Church of censorship. On Thursday, the two sides traded blame as German commentators largely mourned the end of the examination.
He extols the virtues of poverty and humility, but the German bishop of Limburg enjoys first-class flights and a luxurious new living complex. As the truth comes out about their secretive shepherd, local Catholics are threatening to abandon the fold en masse.Von Martin U. Müller und Peter Wensierski
Two years ago, Germany's Catholic Church was rocked by reports of widespread child abuse. But Stephan Ackermann, the bishop subsequently made the German Bishops' Conference's spokesman on such issues, has rattled many in his own diocese by refusing to actively pursue investigations or impose harsh penalties.Von Anna Catherin Loll
The pope's highly anticipated speech in Germany's parliament Thursday was met with a standing ovation by politicians, who he warned not to abandon their principles for power. In Friday's newspapers, though, German commentators take the pope to task for not addressing contemporary problems within the Catholic Church in his speech.
It has been billed as Pope Benedict XVI's most difficult trip abroad to date. But so far in Germany, the pope has not sought to shy away from controversy. His bluntness has surprised many -- and could transform the visit into a rousing success. By SPIEGEL Staff
In Germany on Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI wasted no time in touching on one of the main themes of his papacy: declining religiosity. But he also chatted with Chancellor Angela Merkel about the financial crisis and said he understands the protests surrounding his visit.
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Berlin on Thursday morning to kick-off a four-day trip to Germany. He was welcomed by President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of a highly anticipated speech before the German parliament. He said he was unbothered by the massive criticism which preceded the visit.
When Joseph Ratzinger became pope in 2005, Catholics in Germany joyfully celebrated the first German pope in almost 500 years. Since then, the euphoria has turned to disappointment and disillusionment. Benedict XVI's visit to Germany this week will do little to heal the deep divide between conservatives and reformers in the German Church. By SPIEGEL Staff.
Jesuit priest Klaus Mertes, the director of Berlin's Canisius College, sent shock waves through the German Catholic Church in January 2010 when he exposed systematic sexual abuse at the elite school. In a SPIEGEL interview, he talks about the Church's response to the abuse scandal and his anger at the Vatican.
The credibility of the Catholic Church in Germany has suffered enormously as a result of allegations of sexual abuse. Now the country's bishops have ordered investigations of an unprecedented scale in Europe. SPIEGEL has learned the church will provide external investigators with access to personnel files in all 27 dioceses.
Following a series of abuse cases in Europe and North America, revelations have emerged of sexual abuse by priests in a number of African countries. The case of Father Renato Kizito, who is accused of raping young men in Kenya, shows how local power structures work in favor of the clerics.Von Horand Knaup
New documents show how the former Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger -- now Pope Benedict XVI -- and his successor Reinhard Marx failed to properly deal with a suspected pedophile. Despite massive allegations of abuse, the archdiocese allowed the priest to continue working with children.Von Conny Neumann und Peter Wensierski
The Catholic Church in Germany has introduced new guidelines on dealing with allegations of suspected sexual abuse. They are intended to get police involved more quickly and prevent cases from being covered up. Media commentators feel the new rules do not go far enough.
A German public prosecutor has launched a criminal investigation into the chairman of the Catholic Church's governing body in Germany. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, prosecutors believe, hired a priest he knew had committed sex crimes.
The pope has accepted the resignation of a bishop at the center of the abuse scandal in Germany. Walter Mixa, the former bishop of Augsburg, is accused of having committed violence against minors and financial irregularities. Now allegations of sexual abuse are surfacing.
Bishop Walter Mixa, who submitted his resignation Thursday amid accusations of violence and financial irregularities, had to go. But the Catholic Church is mistaken if it believes that it has earned itself some breathing space. The abuse debate will not be silenced.Von Jan Fleischhauer
On Thursday the Catholic Church in Augsburg confirmed their bishop, Walter Mixa had sent a letter of resignation to the pope. Mixa has been accused of violence against children and there are investigations into financial irregularities. News of his resignation has been welcomed by almost everyone, even the Church itself.
Embattled German Bishop Walter Mixa submitted his offer to resign to the Vatican on Wednesday amid allegations that he physically abused children and misappropriated Church funds. German commentators welcome the move, saying it sparks hopes of greater transparency in the Catholic Church's abuse investigation.
Despite hotlines and leaders' promises, many victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church remain disappointed. In Aachen, Germany, an alleged sexual abuse victim claims Church authorities have failed to follow up on claims that he was sexually molested by a priest right up until 2007.Von Peter Wensierski