Media Release: The German Catholic Women‘s Federation supports Overcoming Silence campaign

Cologne, March 18, 2019

The German Catholic Women‘s Federation (KDFB) calls on the Vatican and the German Bishops' Conference to publicise facts about the spiritual and sexual abuse of religious women and to prosecute it in the same way as the abuse of minors.

Prompted by the Arte documentary "God‘s abused servants", the Federal Committee of the KDFB demands a comprehensive investigation and prosecution of crimes committed worldwide by priests against religious women. "We are shocked by these acts, which take place in the closed system of the Church, and by the fact that they are deliberately kept secret and covered up. To use religious women to satisfy one's own sexual needs and to exploit their vows of obedience, is a profound violation of the sister's human dignity, an exploitation of their life situation and their faith and a particularly perfidious abuse of power," said KDFB President Maria Flachsbarth.

The KDFB therefore calls on the Vatican to publish the long-known and documented facts about the worldwide spiritual and sexual abuse of women religious, and to indicate what has been done or is being done in concrete terms against this abuse. Perpetrators should be named and all abuse should be persecuted by criminal and church law. The KDFB appeals to the German Bishops' Conference to prosecute the crimes committed against religious women in the same way as the abuse of minors.

"As Christian women, we see a lasting task in changing the system of clericalism in the Church. This effort also includes women who support this system," says Flachsbarth. The KDFB will therefore continue to focus on the topic of "Persecution and Prevention of Abuse in the Church" and supports the “Overcoming Silence“ campaign of Voices of Faith. "We see clearly that we make ourselves complicit, when we, through our silence, give room to perpetrators " notes the KDFB president.

The Catholic German Women's Federation (KDFB) is an independent women's association with 180,000 members German-wide. Since its founding in 1903, he has advocated the equal participation of women in politics, society and the church.

For the KDFB: https://www.frauenbund.de/nc/startseite/berichte-detail/article/missbrauch-von-ordensfrauen-ist-ein-verbrechen/

Ute Hücker

Speaker for Press and Public Relations

The Catholic German Women's Federation (KDFB) is an independent women's association with 180,000 members nationwide. Since its founding in 1903, he has advocated the equal participation of women in politics, society and the church.