In late 2021, the Catholic Church in Switzerland instructed two historians to investigate sexual abuse within the organisation. The move followed evidence of sexual abuse on a staggering scale within the organisation in France. On 4 April 2022, a date was announced for the opening of the secret episcopal archives, reported RTS. Work will start on 1 May 2022.
The researchers running the investigation are from the University of Zurich. The organisations requesting the investigation include the Swiss Bishops’ Conference, KOVOS and RKZ, three Catholic associations in Switzerland. The written agreement to proceed with the investigation was signed in November 2021. This is the first time the three organisations have come together on the subject of sexual abuse.
The two historians from Zurich University researching the abuse will be assisted by an independent scientific committee of six others.
The work will begin on 1 May 2022 and the results are expected during autumn of 2023. The investigation will focus on sexual abuses of children and adults committed during in the second half of the 20th century and will cover all of Switzerland’s linguistic regions.
Innumerable people have endured deep suffering linked to sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, said the organisation.
The results of an investigation into the Catholic Church in France published in early 2021 detailed the abuse of 216,000 children by clergy between 1950 and 2020, a figure that reaches 330,000 when claims against lay members of the church, such as teachers at church schools, are included. The vast majority of the victims were boys, who were preyed upon by as many as 3,200 abusers.