Pope Benedict XVI Accused of Misconduct in Clerical Abuse Cases

Pope Benedict XVI Accused of Misconduct in Clerical Abuse Cases

The Catholic News Agency is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of misconduct during his term as Archbishop of Munich.

The law firm of Westpfahl-Spilker-Wastl investigated the accusations and has issued a 1,000 page report of its findings.

According to the Catholic News Agency, “Lawyer Martin Pusch, an author of the report, said at a press conference on Thursday that investigators had faulted the actions of Benedict XVI, who was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he led the Munich archdiocese.

“In a total of four cases, we concluded that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger, can be accused of misconduct,” he said.

“Pusch noted that in two of the cases, clerics committed abuse while Ratzinger was in office. While they were criminally sanctioned by secular courts, they continued to perform pastoral duties, he said, and no action was taken against them under canon law.

“In a third case, a cleric convicted by a foreign court worked in the Munich archdiocese. Pusch suggested that Ratzinger knew of the priest’s history.

“Another case treated in the report relates to a priest named Father Peter Hullermann, who is accused of abusing at least 23 boys aged eight to 16 between 1973 and 1996.

“The case of the priest identified in German reports only as “H.” was first highlighted by the media in 2010, when Benedict XVI was pope, and again earlier this month.”