A report indicates that Benedict XVI knew of cases of sexual abuse of minors in the German Church

The pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, was aware of the cases of sexual abuse of minors committed by some members of the German Catholic Church when they occurred and, in at least four of them, his attitude was reprehensible. In this way, it is collected in the report requested by the Munich archbishopric from a city law firm.

The text documents cases that happened between 1945 and 2019, which they consider a “horror tale” and of those who blame the high ecclesiastical spheres for not having acted accordingly or, even, having covered them up.

Benedict XVI had “no interest” in acting against clerics who allegedly committed abuses

Regarding the pope emeritus, Ratzinger, they point out that, during his time as archbishop of Munich and Freising (1977-1982), there were two alleged cases of abuse committed by two clergymen. Benedict XVI’s reaction to these alleged cases has been considered by those responsible for the report as “little credible” and, in addition, they consider that there was “no recognizable interest” on the part of the ecclesiastic to act against them.

In this sense, the researchers consider that the pope emeritus knew about the case of the parish priest identified as Peter H. He was transferred to the bishopric of munich after being accused of pederasty in Essen; however, in his new assignment he did not rectify his conduct.

This case was discussed on January 15, 1980 in a meeting in which Ratzinger declares that he did not participate. On the other hand, in the official record of said meeting it has been recorded that the pope emeritus did intervene, although he did so to give a series of details about a conversation he had with the then pope, John Paul II.

More notable personalities

The pope emeritus is not the only one whose attitude towards some of the 497 cases investigated has been criticized by the investigators. To the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and former President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Reinhard Marx, also blame him for not having paid the attention that this type of behavior deserved, although Marx was the one who ordered the preparation of this report.

However, last 2021 Marx presented his resignation to Pope Francis, although he rejected it. The reason: reports came to light about abuses committed by clerics in the German city of Cologne. The case was investigated by an apostolic commission after the former Cardinal of Cologne, Rainer Maria Woelki, admitted that there was a “systemic cover-up” of cases of child abuse in the German archdiocese.


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