Bishop Bode refuses to resign

AAs a consequence of what was presented on Tuesday Interim report on the handling of cases of sexual abuse in the dioceses Osnabruck and Hamburg Osnabrück Bishop Franz-Josef Bode announced far-reaching changes. On the one hand, these concern dealing with the concerns of those affected, on the other hand, the organization of the diocese administration and the exercise of the office as bishop.

Daniel Deckers

responsible for “The Present” in the political editorial team.

The 71-year-old clergyman ruled out resigning. Bode justified his decision by saying that by remaining in office he could guarantee that the "protection process" initiated in 2019 could be continued without interruption due to a vacancy and that all necessary improvements would be implemented immediately.

Unbureaucratic help for those affected

In order to remedy the serious deficits in administrative action that were named in the interim report, the diocese leadership and administration are to hand over numerous competencies to a monitoring group made up primarily of external experts. In the future, this should be used in the administrative treatment of suspected cases of sexual and also spiritual nature abuse be in charge. All threads should come together in the person of an abuse officer who will be assigned to the monitoring group and will be authorized to issue instructions to the administration.

An ombudsman for those affected is also to be set up. According to Bode, their task is to be the advocate of those affected in relation to the church and other institutions. Legal, therapeutic, accompanying and also spiritual support would be offered. The power of disposal over the existing fund for therapy costs should no longer lie with the diocese leadership, but with the ombudsman. This should be increased and also be able to provide funds to support the cost of living unbureaucratically.

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