Pétur Bürcher, the bishop of the Catholic Church in Iceland, has sent an open letter to Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson in response to recent media coverage on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, which has been investigated by the police and has now been sent to the prosecution.
Landakotskirkja, the Catholic Cathedral in Reykjavík.
“The bishop takes the accusations of sexual offenses within the Catholic Church very seriously. The church would like to support those individuals involved with all possible means and the service which the church offers is open to them,” the letter states, as reported on visir.is.
Jónasson also recently called the Catholic bishop to a meeting, along with the Ministry of the Interior’s undersecretary, the minister’s assistant and representatives from the Government Agency for Child Protection and the police.
In the letter, Bürcher said he would like to stress what he stated at the meeting, that the Catholic Church is working, in cooperation with the bishopric in the Nordic countries, on the implementation of coordinated work methods and an action plan regarding incidents like these.
Bürcher also ponders on the right of deceased individuals as to when they are accused of serious crimes. “It is neither the role of the authorities nor the church but the courts, following a police investigation, to determine whether those accused of a crime are guilty or innocent,” he writes.
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