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GreekReporter.comEuropeProbe Shows Pope Benedict Failed to Act to Protect Children

Probe Shows Pope Benedict Failed to Act to Protect Children

Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict XVI, second right, is welcomed by Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, third left on his trip there in 2010.

A new report by a German law firm found that former Pope Benedict failed to act after credible accusations of child abuse in the Church.

The former pope, who still lives in the Vatican in a separate residence from the current Pope, Francis, failed to take any action regarding four child abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich, the German probe alleges.

At the time, Archbishop Josef Ratzinger was responsible for the huge archdiocese of Munich from 1977 to 1982. In the past, Benedict has denied the accusations.

Former Pope Benedict, now Pope Emeritus, was head of the Munich Archdiocese

“Two of these cases concern abuses committed during his tenure and sanctioned by the state,” attorney Martin Pusch stated to the press as he announced his firm’s report.

“In both cases, the perpetrators remained active in pastoral care,” Pusch noted.

The new report, which delves back into historical abuse allegations in Germany, was carried out by a German law firm.

The law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) took a deeper look into how abuse cases were dealt with in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising between 1945 and 2019.

The Munich archdiocese itself commissioned the report. The now-notorious paedophile priest Peter Hullermann was transferred to Munich from Essen, Germany where he had been accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy.

He was then reassigned to pastoral duties despite the allegations.

After Ratzinger had been transferred to Rome, Hullermann was convicted of molesting other children in 1986 — and given a suspended prison sentence by the court.

Incredibly, even after he was convicted, he continued to work with children for many years thereafter. His case is seen as the most flagrant example of how cavalierly the Catholic Church handled abuse allegations.

In the past, Benedict denied knowing about the priest’s history.

According to German media reports, the Pope Emeritus provided an 82-page statement in response to questions posed by WSW.

Related: Pope Calls for Conciliation Between Orthodoxy, Catholicism

His spokesman, Georg Gaenswein, said that Benedict “takes the fates of the abuse victims very much to heart” and is fully “in favor of the publication of the Munich report.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict, who is now 94, was the first pope ever to step down from the role in the past 600 years. He now lives in seclusion in a former convent in the garden of the Vatican.

Germany’s Catholic group “Wir sind Kirche” (We are Church) says there must be widespread reform in the Church, calling on Benedict to take responsibility for what took place while he was head of the Munich archdiocese.

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