|By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt|
The cardinal was delivering a lengthy, detailed lecture on clerical sex abuse at the University of Vienna.
Clerical abuse is a “massive reality” in the Church caused among other factors by “closed systems” and the overinflated authority of priests, according to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.
In a 50-minute lecture at Vienna University, one of a weekly series the University is holding on “The Sexual Abuse of Minors: Crime and Responsibility” in the winter semester, Cardinal Schönborn described in detail how, after listening to abuse victims over the past 20 or so years, he had come to the conclusion that clerical spiritual and sexual abuse – but above all the abuse of clerical power – was a “massive reality” in the Catholic Church.
The cardinal said:
I am not speaking on this painful subject as an expert but as someone who has repeatedly been confronted with abuse and who has learnt a great deal about it – but certainly not enough. That is why, as a first step, I am going to relate – quite unsystematically – what I have learnt about abuse and then try to sum up what must be done about it.
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