Bishop of the Diocese of Rottenburg Stuttgart Gebhard Furst gave an apology to the public, as the first details of a study on the sexual abuse of children in the German Catholic Church became known in Stuttgart on Monday.
"These terrible crimes will not happen again. And when it happens, we will handle it and inform you so that you trust how the Catholic Church deals with such crime," Furst said.
The bishop repeatedly stated that the Church had waited too long to go public with the problem, even though they were aware of the crimes.
The study revealed that a total of 3,677 people were victims of sexual offenses committed by some 1,670 priests and religious personnel across the country. More than half of the victims were a maximum of 13 years old at the time of the crime.
In the study, 'Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests, Deacons and Male Religious in the Area of the German Bishops' Conference', more than 38,000 personnel and other files from 27 German dioceses in period between 1946 and 2014 were examined and evaluated.