Ex-pope to be investigated over failure to prevent sexual abuse — Analysis

A new report has revealed that former Pope Benedict XVI, and two German cardinals were accused of misconduct.

German prosecutors are investigating 42 cases of misconduct by high-ranking Catholic priests in Germany. This follows the revelation of a devastating report regarding child abuse in Freising Archdiocese and Munich.

This report was published on Thursday and accuses the ex-patron of failing to stop abuses of clerics in his years as Archbishop at Munich and Freising. He was then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his misconduct has been linked to four cases of abuse. 

Ex-Pope Benedict XVI knew about child sex abuse – report

The report, which lists nearly 500 victims and 235 perpetrators of sexual abuse dating back to 1945 through 2019, includes Benedict as one of the three German cardinals who are accused of misconduct. In 21 instances, his immediate successor, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter (archdiocese), has been implicated in potential misconduct. The current archbishop Cardinal Reinhard Marx is also being accused in two cases.

The Munich public prosecutor’s investigations “exclusively concern church officials who are still alive,” Anne Leiding, the prosecutor’s office spokesperson, told the dpa news agency. She added that the report’s findings had been “transmitted in a strictly anonymized format.”

If “suspicions arise with regard to potentially criminally relevant behavior on the part of the church leaders in charge,”Leiding indicated that they would ask Westpfahl Spilker Wastl for relevant documents, as this was the law firm that was asked by the archdiocese in order to prepare the report. If necessary, they will then be passed on to the respective prosecutor’s offices.

Pope Francis pledged Friday to follow the wake of these revelations. “justice”victim of abuses at the hands Catholic church leaders. He didn’t mention it in his address. 

Although Benedict denies being accused of not taking action on abuse allegations, the lawyers responsible for the preparation of the report refuted certain of the claims. Some in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have apparently called for Benedict to “take a stand,”Some of his backers, such as Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller and others, claimed that he “did not knowingly do anything wrong”It was implied that the ex-pope was being targeted because of his strict stance on religion doctrine.

Christiane Hoffmann (federal government spokesperson) said the matter had been “stunned”By “the extent of abuse and subsequent handling of these acts”The report also includes the following: “full clarification and reappraisal” was “now all the more urgent.”

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