BERLIN – The Catholic Church called Thursday for Germany to agree to a ceiling on compensation payouts by sports clubs, boarding schools and religious organizations to sex abuse victims.

The Catholic bishops did not disclose how high they thought the ceiling should be. They made the proposal at a government-headed meeting with other institutions and victim groups.

Abuse by pedophile German priests from the 1950s to 1990s came into the open this year, after similar scandals in Ireland and Belgium. Victims have alleged that the church covered up the abuse.

In Germany, the scandal widened with similar disclosures by other churches, non-religious groups and sporting organizations of crimes against children, ranging from violence and exhibitionism to serial rape.

Berlin summoned the victims, who are now adult, and groups that employed the pedophiles to negotiate a broad settlement.