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Klaus Mertes receives an honorary doctorate

The University of Freiburg’s Faculty of Theology honors commitment to uncovering abuse in the church

Freiburg, May 16, 2019

Klaus Mertes receives an honorary doctorate

Klaus Mertes (right) and Ferdinand Prostmeier, assistant dean of the Theological Faculty, at the presentation of the honorary doctorate. Photo: Sigrid Striet

The University of Freiburg’s Faculty of Theology is awarding the Jesuit Klaus Mertes an honorary doctorate. The award is for his untiring work to uncover spiritual and sexual abuse in the Catholic church. At the same time he is also expressly being honored for his theological work, in which he has undertaken vital analyzes into questions of abuse, power and violence. In his many publications Mertes has developed a theology which fights to keep history from being forgotten and calls for an education that makes people responsible for public and clerical interests.


Klaus Mertes has been director of the international Jesuit college in St. Blasien since 2011. After taking his university admission exam, he studied classical philology and Slavonic studies in Bonn in 1973 and joined the Jesuit order in 1977. After that he studied philosophy in Munich and theology in Frankfurt. Since 1990 Mertes has worked in the teaching profession. In early 2010 as the then Rector of the Berlin Canisius college he made public numerous cases of the sexual abuse of teenagers by members of the clergy.


Prof. Dr. Magnus Striet
Faculty of Theology
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-2078