In addition to the 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million) that the archdiocese spent on the reports, it paid an estimated 588,000 euros ($665,000) for “further legal advice,” as well as just under 820,000 euros ($928,000) on ”crisis consultations.”
According to reports, Hofmann said that with the Gercke Report, the archdiocese had “entered uncharted territory in legal terms as well as in terms of communication, and paid the price for it.”
“That was a painful and expensive process,” he was quoted as saying.
He added that the archdiocese needed external help to cope with a media onslaught after the first report was not published.
The vicar general underlined that the costs would not be covered by the church tax. If an individual is registered as a Catholic in Germany, 8-9% of their income tax goes to the Church.
Hofmann said that the money would come instead from a special fund that was “in essence formed by levies from clerics from past decades.”
Compensation payments for abuse victims are paid from the same fund.
Pope Francis ordered an apostolic visitation of the archdiocese in May to examine possible errors in the handling of abuse cases by Woelki, as well as the Cologne auxiliaries Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp and Bishop Ansgar Puff.
The Vatican said in September that its investigation of Woelki had found no evidence that the 65-year-old cardinal acted unlawfully in relation to sexual abuse cases.
“Nevertheless, Cardinal Woelki has also made major mistakes in his approach to the issue of coming to terms with abuse overall, especially at the level of communication,” it said.
“This has contributed significantly to a crisis of confidence in the archdiocese that has disturbed many of the faithful.”
(Story continues below)
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Commenting on Schwaderlapp and Puff, the Holy See said: “In the case of both bishops, there are isolated deficiencies in the handling of procedures in their previous responsibilities, but not an intention to cover up abuse or ignore those affected.”
“Bishop Ansgar Puff will resume his regular ministry immediately. Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp has asked to be allowed to work for one year as a pastor in the Archdiocese of Mombasa, in Kenya, before returning to his ministry as auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Cologne. The Holy Father has granted this request.”