Child abuse in the Catholic Church was long a taboo subject, kept under wraps by senior church dignitaries. But in the pursuit of justice, the Church’s inactivity eventually prompted the victims of child abuse to take matters into their own hands.
“For too long the Church has denied, ignored and hushed up abuse. The victims are entitled to justice.” In September 2018, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German Bishops’ Conference, uttered these words and apologized to all victims of sexual abuse by Catholic officials in Germany. But Matthias Katsch, one of the most prominent representatives of victims in Germany, maintains that the Church’s handling of abuse remains problematic even now. A former pupil at the private Canisius-Kolleg school and spokesperson for the “Squared Table” victims’ initiative uncovered the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Germany in 2010. For over thirty years, his abusers’ crimes had stayed covered up. Then, Matthias Katsch and his former classmates broke the silence when they turned to the public with accusations against their former teachers – Jesuit priests Peter R. and Wolfgang S. And what happened next? Not much, it seems. Both men were spotted in Chile after 2010. Impatient with the lack of progress, Matthias Katsch took matters into his own hands and set out to Chile to find the abusers – and their next victims. Filmmaker Eva Müller went with him.
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