German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday commented for the first time on the clergy abuse scandal captivating Germany. Speaking to the German parliament, the Bundestag, during a debate on the country's 2010 budget, Merkel said that "sexual abuse of children ... is an abhorrent crime." She went on to say that "there is only one possibility for our society to come to grips with these cases: truth and clarity about all that has happened."
Prior to Wednesday's comments, Merkel had been criticized for not having spoken up about the cases, which have been generating headlines in Germany ever since the first revelations.
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The numbers keep rising. By the end of last week, some 200 people claiming to be victims in Germany had approached a Berlin attorney engaged by the Jesuits to look into cases of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy. A further 150 went public with stories of mistreatment at the monastery school in Ettal. And 15 former choirboys came forward with grievances relating to their time as members of the famous Regensburg choir called the Domspatzen.