Germany lauds handling of Church scandals
The German government has pointed to Ireland as a guide for how church and state should handle clerical child sexual abuse scandals.
The Catholic Church in Germany has come under growing criticism for covering-up for decades hundreds of allegations of abuse against clergy that began to become public last January.
More than 150 pupils in Pope Benedict's native land have so far claimed they were abused at schools belonging to the Jesuit, Salesian and other religious orders.
But the German bishops have refused to bow to government demands that state prosecutors should be automatically informed of allegations of abuse made against Catholic clergy.
The confrontation was brought into the open when Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said the bishops were not co-operating with the authorities "constructively".
The minister also called for round-table talks "as in Ireland" between the church, the state authorities and abuse victims.
But the president of the German bishops conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, said he saw little sense in that approach.