by Clare O’Dea in Brunnen, swissinfo.ch
An independent investigation into allegations of abuse at children’s homes run by the Swiss Ingenbohl Sisters of Mercy has found serious failings by the Roman Catholic nuns but has discounted the worst allegations involving deaths in care. The excessive punishment doled out by some sisters was mainly due to the “systemic misery” of the homes, where both children and carers experienced hardship, the commission of experts found in its review of the decades from 1928 to the 1970s.
The commission, mandated by the Ingenbohl Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross two years ago, presented a 220-page report of its findings at the mother house of the order in Brunnen in canton Schwyz on Wednesday.
Under the chairmanship of lawyer Magnus Küng, the commission set itself the task of finding answers as to why a significant number of children were “so defencelessly abandoned to their tormentors”.
“Not only the authorities, the bodies who carried out inspections, and the management of the homes clearly bear their share of the institutional blame but also the leadership of the [religious] community. Many questions still remain about the guilt of individuals,” Küng said.