Swiss bishops create €462k fund to pay victims of Catholic clerics’ sex abuse

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
By Paul Martin
6 Dec, 2016

Swiss bishops have created a fund worth €462,000 for those who have been sexually abused by members of the Catholic clergy and cannot seek justice in court because the statute of limitations has passed.

The move was announced on Monday at the Swiss Bishops Conference (SBK), a meeting of the coordinating body of Roman Catholic dioceses, which was held at the Valère Basilica in the city of Sion in southern Switzerland.

“The responsible clergy believe that sex abuse victims in cases where the public statute of limitations has passed and where the Church has long turned a blind eye and provided no reparations, are in a particularly difficult situation,” SBK said.

Thus, SBK created a fund worth 500,000 Swiss francs ($495,000, €462,000) that is to be paid out to sex abuse victims. An independent commission will decide on the size of individual compensations.

“A serious sin has been revealed during our time at the Church… This sin committed by some was made possible by certain structures and certain ways of behaving and thinking,” Monseigneur Charles Morerod said.

“The sin has several levels: the abusive act, the complicit silence, and the lack of assistance to the victims,” he added.

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