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March 15, 2010

Germany’s Catholic bishops have asked forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse at church-run schools and promised to “learn lessons” from secular institutions that are dealing with child molestation. “We are assuming responsibility. We condemn the offenses committed by monks, priests and their colleagues in our dioceses, and we ask pardon, in shame and shock, from all those who fell victim to these appalling acts,” the bishops said in a statement on Feb. 25. In late January, Canisius College, a Jesuit-run high school in Berlin, confirmed there had been persistent abuse by three priests between 1975 and 1983. At least 120 men have come forward since, claiming they suffered abuse by priests or lay teachers at Jesuit schools throughout the country dating to the 1950s. The Jesuit order has apologized to victims and hired an attorney to discuss compensation with them.

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