Investigation Finds Ex-Pope Benedict Failed To Act In German Abuse Instances

Investigation Finds Ex-Pope Benedict Failed To Act In German Abuse Instances

 In this file photo taken on February 14, 2015 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI attends a papal consistory for the creation of new Cardinals at St. Peter's basilica in Vatican. Andreas SOLARO / AFP
In this file describe taken on February 14, 2015 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI attends a papal consistory for the introduction of most up-to-date Cardinals at St. Peter’s basilica in Vatican. Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Ancient pope Benedict XVI knowingly failed to determine on action to stay four monks accused of tiny one sex abuse in Munich in the 1980s, in response to a damning honest characterize revealed Thursday that risks shattering the ex-pontiff’s reputation.

The characterize by regulation agency Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) was commissioned by the archdiocese of Munich and Freising to interrogate how abuse cases had been handled between 1945 and 2019.

Ex-pope Benedict — whose civilian title is Josef Ratzinger — was the archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.

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Benedict’s spokesman Georg Gaenswein talked about the ex-pontiff had answered by expressing “shock and shame on the abuse of minors dedicated by clerics” nonetheless must interrogate the textual bellow, of which he had no data till this afternoon.

Benedict, 94 — whose civilian title is Josef Ratzinger — in 2013 became the first pope to step down from the feature in 600 years and now lives a secluded existence in a extinct convent contained in the grounds of the Vatican.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni moreover talked about it intended to interrogate the characterize, “the contents of that are now now not presently known”.

Two of the cases where Benedict allegedly failed to act alive to clergymen who had dedicated several confirmed acts of abuse nonetheless had been allowed to proceed with pastoral responsibilities, in response to WSW lawyer Martin Pusch.

In one case, a now notorious paedophile priest named Peter Hullermann was transferred to Munich from Essen in western Germany where he had been accused of abusing an 11-year-ragged boy.

Hullermann was reassigned to pastoral responsibilities despite his historical past and persevered to reoffend for heaps of years.

‘Defensive perspective’

The lawyers talked about that “to our surprise”, Benedict had denied attending the meeting in 1980 at which the resolution was made to confess Hullermann, despite being quoted straight away in the minutes of the meeting.

Any ardour in the abuse victims was “now now not recognisable” in Benedict, Pusch talked about.

He moreover talked about Benedict had before all the pieces put shown a “defensive perspective” when responding to questions for the investigation. On the choice hand, he later modified his stance and gave a detailed written assertion.

The characterize stumbled on indications of sexually abusive behaviour in 235 folk it investigated, along with 173 monks. There bear been a total of as a minimum 497 victims.

The lawyers moreover accused Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the unusual archbishop of Munich and Freising, of failing to act in two cases of suspected abuse.

Marx had final year equipped Pope Francis his resignation over the church’s “institutional and systemic failure” in its going via of tiny one sex abuse scandals.

On the choice hand, Pope Francis rejected his provide, urging the cardinal known for his reforms to raise and succor shape alternate in the Catholic Church.

Marx on Thursday apologised to the victims on behalf of the archdiocese, that may well well perhaps answer intimately subsequent week, and moreover talked about he was “unnerved and ashamed” by the findings.

‘Unpleasant insights’

The reformist Catholic community “Wir sind Kirche” (We are Church) talked about the characterize equipped “shocking insights into the dearth of sense of responsibility of clerical yelp of job holders”.

It known as on Benedict to “face up to his ecclesiastical and excellent responsibility pretty than making more and more denials which may well well perhaps be now now not very credible”.

The SNAP abuse survivors’ network went further: “Staunch action may well well perhaps strategy in the invent of admission from Pope Benedict XVI and for him to relinquish his honor as pope emeritus. That may well well perhaps begin the act of contrition.”

The Catholic Church has been embroiled in a group of sexual abuse scandals in countries across the sphere, along with Australia, Chile, France, Ireland and the United States.

In Germany, a string of reports in recent times bear uncovered neatly-liked abuse of younger folk by clergymen.

A seek for commissioned by the German Bishops’ Convention in 2018 concluded that 1,670 clergymen in the country had dedicated some invent of sexual assault in opposition to 3,677 minors between 1946 and 2014.

On the choice hand, the particular amount of victims is regarded as grand bigger.

One other characterize revealed final year uncovered the scope of abuse dedicated by monks in Germany’s top diocese of Cologne.

The abuse scandal has thwarted the Catholic Church’s efforts to spearhead gargantuan reforms in Germany.

Payouts for victims of abuse had been increased in 2020 to up to 50,000 euros ($56,700), from around 5,000 euros previously, nonetheless campaigners insist the sum is composed insufficient.

Matthias Katsch, a spokesman for the Eckiger Tisch victims’ community, known as the characterize “surprising”.

It was “spectacular and very transferring” to discover the lawyers “make a selection aside this edifice of lies that has been erected to guard Benedict XVI”, he talked about.


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