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Europe's Roman Catholic Church Facing Child Abuse Allegations

The Roman Catholic Church is facing child abuse allegations in Europe. The church faces allegations of covering up "pedophile" priests from the long arm of the law from Ireland to Germany. The homeland of Pope Benedict XVI is under the most scrutiny in Germany with more claims surfacing spreading from the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy. Investigators report that seven child abuse cases at an elite Jesuit school in Berlin were reported In January despite the church's attempts to keep the scandal from the public spotlight. Ursula Raue led the investigation to expose testimony from ex-students of the school. In just a few short weeks, Raue uncovered at least 100 of the students were "abused by their Jesuit Masters" and that "sixty were molested by parish priests."

The tales of abuse do not stop there. Research into the Dublin Archdioceses revealed the church covered up the abuse of children at the hands of at least 170 priests. Analysts and supporters of the church question how "deep the scandal runs," and the scope of children who have been harmed. They also speculate that the European dioceses will be run bankrupt as the lawsuits pile up, similiarly to the fate of American churches. Fifteen thousand complaints and allegations have been filed from Ireland, a nation with a population of 4 million people. The government investigated claims and revealed "shock" and "disgust." The church will need at least $1.5 billion dollars or 1 billion euros to settle the claims. Sixty claims have been filed in Switzerland. Abuse claims from German churches arise on a "near daily basis," despite the Vatican's public denouncement of such claims that have involved even Pope Benedict XVI.

A fifty eight year old by the name of Bert Smeets has formed Mea Culpa to collect testimony from abuse victims. The former Catholic boarding school abuse victim has been a forerunner in the campaign to hold the church accountable for its actions. Smeets described the church's apologies to its victims and the ensuing investigation the church created as a "typical Vatican cover-up."

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