Benedict Faulted for Handling of Abuse Cases When He Was an Archbishop

A newly released report by a law firm said the former pope mishandled at least four cases of sexual abuse accusations in Germany.

Pope Benedict in the Vatican in 2013, days before his resignation took effect.
Pope Benedict in the Vatican in 2013, days before his resignation took effect.Credit…Maurizio Brambatti/European Pressphoto Agency

A report released on Thursday faulted Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for what the authors called misconduct in his handling of at least four cases of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests when he was the archbishop of Munich, according to the law firm that handled the investigation.

The report on the handling of clerical sex abuse of minors in the diocese of Munich and Freising covered the period between 1945 and 2019. Benedict was archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982 and had oversight over the clerics.

“In a total of four cases, we came to the conclusion that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger, can be accused of misconduct,” said one of the authors of the report, Martin Pusch, referring to Benedict.

The law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, which drafted the report commissioned by the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, said that Benedict had firmly denied any wrongdoing.

The Vatican said Thursday that it would read and examine the report in coming days and give it “due attention,” said the Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni.

“In reiterating the sense of shame and remorse for the abuse of minors committed by clerics, the Holy See ensures its closeness to all the victims and confirms the path taken to protect the little ones, guaranteeing them safe environments,” Mr. Bruni said.

The report also accused other senior church figures in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising of mishandling sexual abuse cases.

Source: BREAKING: Benedict faulted for handling of abuse cases while archbishop – Deacon Greg Kandra (

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