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Psychiatr Prax. 2019 Jul;46(5):256-262. doi: 10.1055/a-0936-3869. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

[Sexual Abuse of Children by Catholic Priests since 2009: Course and Relative Frequency Compared to the Male General Population].

[Article in German; Abstract available in German from the publisher]

Author information

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim, Universität Heidelberg, Mannheim.
Institut für Kriminologie der Universität Heidelberg.


in English, German


This paper explores the frequency of sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests and deacons in the years 2009 to 2015 in relation to the male general population in Germany.


An annual rate of sexual abuse accusations is calculated from the sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests identified in the MHG-study for the years 2009 to 2015. This is compared to figures of the male general population from the police crime statistics.


The number of suspected men in the general population ranged from 17.6 - 20.0/100.000 between 2009 and 2015. For Catholic priests the rate of accusations ranged from 8.4 to 31.7/100.000. A decrease of the quota was not detectable in either group during the study period.


The findings suggest that there is a relatively constant rate of people being disposed to child sexual abuse in the group of Catholic priests. These results should be addressed specifically in the prevention work of the Catholic Church.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement

Die Studie wurde von der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz und dem VDD (dem Verband der Diözesen Deutschlands) gefördert. Die Autoren haben von der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz und dem VDD Reisekosten erstattet bekommen, die im Rahmen der Durchführung der Studie angefallen sind.

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