Stephan Singbartl makes no secret of his need. “There has never been a case like this,” mumbles the presiding judge at the Cologne district court. Singbartl has decided many a spectacular civil matter: for example, the lawsuit filed by a billionaire who demanded damages from her investment advisor. Or the demand for compensation from a demonstrator who had been beaten by the Cologne police. On this Tuesday morning, however, when he called the case “Menne against the Archdiocese of Cologne” in Room 240, Judge Singbartl also entered new legal territory. This is, he will say later, “one of the most difficult tasks we have had in recent years”.