(AP) A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese on Thursday faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and ’80s. The law firm that drew up the report said Benedict strongly denies any wrongdoing.
The findings were sure to reignite criticism of Benedict’s record more than a decade after the first — and until Thursday only — known case involving him was made public.
The archdiocese commissioned the report from law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl nearly two years ago, with a mandate to look into abuse between 1945 and 2019, and whether church officials handled allegations correctly. The law firm examined church files and spoke to witnesses.
Church officials weren’t informed of the results ahead of publication. The current archbishop — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, a prominent reformist ally of Pope Francis — was faulted in two cases.
Marx’s predecessors include the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who served in Munich from 1977 to 1982 before becoming the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and later being elected as pope, which is when he took the name Benedict.
Benedict gave extensive written testimony for the report.
“In a total of four cases, we have come to the conclusion that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger, can be accused of misconduct,” said Pusch.
Two of those cases, he said, involved perpetrators who offended while he was in office and were punished by the judicial system but were kept in pastoral work without express limits on what they were allowed to do. No action was ordered under canon law.
In a third case, a cleric who had been convicted by a court outside Germany was put into service in the Munich archdiocese…To continue reading, click here
Editor’s Note. This article was written by Geir Moulson and posted at the Associated Press. Title changed by Protestia