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Switzerland latest country to go after the Catholic Church for child rape.
In 2017, a record number of cases – 65 incidents – were reported in Switzerland, according to the German-language newspaper. Of these, only ten were serious enough for the judiciary to act. Eight cases were reported by the church itself and the other two were investigated by prosecutors.
More than 300 victims have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against priests in Switzerland since 2010, according to the SonntagZeitung newspaper, which on Sunday devoted an article to how the Catholic Church handles the alleged perpetrators.
The church declined to give details of the attacks, but one case reportedly concerns the rape of a woman.
Only three clerics have been convicted over allegations of abuse since 2010, according to an internal document of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference (SBC) cited by the newspaper.
The same paper reportedly notes that 111 of the accused are already dead, three perpetrators are “untraceable” or “unknown,” and in 10% of the cases the information is partial or “insufficient.”
Such figures are partial at best. For example, the community of the Pius Brothers does not provide any information. Two priests of that order were convicted of sexual buses in 2018.
In addition to the judicial cases, the Church has investigated the vast majority of the attacks within the Church and sanctioned perpetrators. It has imposed local bans on four clergy.
Two priests were warned, three suspended, three dismissed. The accused were also obliged to make pilgrimages.
Monetary penalties – for example several monthly salaries – are being discussed as a potentially more effective deterrent to abuse by the SBC.
The bishops have also sent ten guilty clerics to psychotherapy.