March 30, 2010.
After a growing sex abuse scandal, the German Catholic Church has set up free nationwide hotline to help victims and offenders.
The telephone line which will be available 3 days a week, will offer free anonymous professional counseling to anyone affected by the crisis.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Cologne in Germany has published a 30 page brochure to give parishioners a first hand take on the situation.
More than 150-thousand copies were printed and handed out to priests, clergy and parishioners last week.
The brochure titled, ‘Incidents of sexual abuse, information and documents’ is available online, and includes a letter from the Archbishop Cardinal Joachim Meisner.
Cardinal Meisner expresses his anger towards sex abuse by members of the clergy.
He says the main concern should be seeking justice for victims. In fact, the brochure also includes information on how victims can report crimes to the archdiocese.
Excerpts from Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to Irish Catholics are also included along with information updating parishioners on old and new cases linked to the archdiocese, some of which are still under investigation.
The officials at the archdiocese say this brochure is an effort to speak directly to Catholics about the situation after they say the media is becoming part of the problem and not reporting all the facts.