Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland asked two academics to conduct a study on the history of sexual exploitation of the Swiss Church since the mid-20th century, joining other churches in other countries Europe and beyond to undergo such a calculation.
The Swiss Bishops’ Conference and two other organizations announced on Monday that two history professors from the University of Zurich, Monika Dommann and Marietta Maier, will form a team in the coming weeks before officially launching the project and detailing its full ambitions in March.
“Countless people have endured deep suffering related to sexual abuse in the context of the Roman Catholic Church,” the organizations said. “The work of scientific memory is first and foremost due to the victims, but it will also carry lessons for the future. The one-year pilot project will give researchers “free access to their files and archives where possible and permitted by canon and state law.” They also pledged to encourage their members and other groups to do the same.
The groups stressed the need for independence “to bring justice to the victims”.
Any information obtained through the archives and files of Catholic groups can only be used within the framework of the project, and the University of Zurich – the official delegate of the project – is committed to keeping confidential any information not included in the project. the final report. The university noted its obligation under Swiss law to report any wrongdoing it may find.
The project puts Switzerland on track to join Roman Catholic churches in other European countries, including France, Germany and Portugal, to probe their stories of sexual abuse. It follows major investigations into abuse by churches in places like Australia, Britain and Ireland.
Together with the Bishops’ Conference, the project is led by KOVOS, an umbrella organization of Catholic orders and groups in Switzerland, and the Roman Catholic Central Conference or RKZ, which brings together ecclesiastical organizations from the cantons or regions of Switzerland.
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