It is imperative to break up “male associations” in the Church if clerical sexual abuse is to be prevented, the chair of the German Catholic Youth Organisation BDKJ has said.
In view of the latest clerical abuse figures for Germany, “it is only too understandable that parents, but also children and young people themselves, are losing confidence in the Church”, Lisi Maier told the weekly Die Welt.
The BDKJ was, therefore, trying to create a different understanding of togetherness. “We are putting the emphasis on democratic structures, transparency and a flatter hierarchy,” she said. That priests had so much more power than lay Catholics must be changed, she added.
Priestly formation in the seminary must lay greater emphasis on the subject of sexuality, which was still ignored or even taboo in some seminaries, she continued..
The BDKJ is the umbrella association for 17 Catholic youth organisations. It has 660,000 members nationwide.