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Former pope was at meeting where pedophile priest discussed

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-01-24

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Retired Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged that he did attend a 1980 meeting at which the transfer of a pedophile priest to his then-diocese was discussed, saying an editorial error was responsible for his previous assertion that he wasn't there.

Authors of a report on sexual abuse between 1945 and 2019 in the Munich archdiocese, which Benedict — then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — led from 1977 to 1982, on Thursday faulted his handling of four cases during his time as archbishop and said his claim that he wasn't at the meeting lacked credibility.

Benedict, who provided lengthy written testimony, denies any wrongdoing on his part.

One case involved the transfer to Munich of a priest to undergo therapy, which was approved under Ratzinger in 1980.

The priest was allowed to resume pastoral work, a decision that the church has said was made by a lower-ranking official without consulting the archbishop. In 1986, the priest received a suspended sentence for molesting a boy.

In a statement to Germany s KNA Catholic news agency on Monday, Benedict's longtime secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, said the retired pope wants to clarify that he was in fact at January 1980 meeting of local church officials in which the priest’s transfer to Munich was discussed. He said Benedict apologizes for the error.

“He would like to stress that this did not happen out of any bad intent, but was the consequence of a mistake in the editorial processing of his statement,” Gaenswein said.

Gaenswein stressed, however, no decision on the priest resuming pastoral work was made at the meeting and that it only approved him being put up in Munich during his therapy.

Gaenswein added that Benedict is still reading carefully through the report and will need some time to finish doing so. He added that there will be a statement from the former pope on the report and that it also will spell out how the erroneous assertion about the meeting happened.

The statement to KNA was reported by the Vatican’s in-house Vatican News portal.

Comments / 26

Phillip Ben
01-25

Any offender, in the church, Should Be Excommunicated and jailed! Regardless of the position they are within the church!

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15
Ray Ray
01-25

all those popes and catholic priest are just as guilty. they know what's going on. behind closed doors. they choose to cover it up rather then do something about it

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6
James Ozechoski
01-24

still nothing done.abuse.gay priests abuse of pensioners money..on it goes. where are the strong moral men of the church?

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9

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