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CRIME

Number of Jesuit abuse victims continues to climb

Some 10 weeks after the first abuse cases at Jesuit education institutions came to light, the number of victims continues to climb. Around 170 people are now believed to have been abused in Germany.

Number of Jesuit abuse victims continues to climb
Photo: DPA

Lawyer Ursula Raue, who has been commissioned to investigate the abuse cases, told the DPA news agency in an interview that abuse by members of the clergy took place in Jesuit educational establishments as early as the 1950s.

She did not name the exact number of known abusers.

Berlin’s prestigious Canisius secondary school made headlines when it was revealed at the end of January that at least two priests had repeatedly abused students in the 1970s and 1980s. It is now thought that at least 59 former students were victims of the abuse.

Since the first revelations, the scope of the scandal has spread across the country as more and more people have come forward.

“The subject of abuse if not new,” said Raue. “But the recent developments go further than any of us thought.”

She said that while the revelations are disquieting, she is glad that “this last societal taboo topic” is being discussed in public.

The investigation into the Jesuit abuse cases will take some time, Raue said, adding that she has still not looked at all the files she has received. She is now investigating whether cases of abuse were known early on and covered up by the order.

The Catholic abuse scandal has rocked the church, with new cases coming to light almost daily. The scandal has even reached Pope Benedict XVI, who has been criticised for his actions regarding abuse cases while he was a bishop in Germany.

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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