Germany’s Catholic Church was on Thursday due to speak about steps and reforms to address its child sex abuse scandal, which mirrors paedophilia revelations in congregations worldwide.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference, was due to give a 1300 GMT press conference at the end of a four-day episcopal conference in the western city of Lingen.
As in Australia, Chile, France, Ireland and the United States, Germany’s Catholic Church has had to admit to abuses by predator priests and clergy and their systematic cover-ups over decades.
Germany’s Church last September released a study that showed 1,670 clergymen had committed some form of sexual attack against 3,677 minors, mostly boys, between 1946 and 2014.
The authors said the figure was “the tip of the iceberg” as many Church documents had been “destroyed or manipulated”.
Last month a Vatican meeting addressed the global issue heaping pressure on the Church, and this week Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’s closest advisors, was jailed for six years for molesting two choirboys in 1996.
The German conference host, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, called on the Church to show greater transparency, saying that “only a Church that is pure of heart transparent, honest and without double standards, which faces up to reality, will win back trust”.
The Catholic Church — Germany’s biggest religious community with 23 million followers has apologised and pledged a series of steps, from owning up to past crimes to compensating victims and preventing abuses in future.