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Pope Emeritus Benedict criticised in sex-abuse report

Former pope 'failed to take action in four cases'

(ANSA) - ROME, JAN 20 - A report on the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy in Germany has concluded that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI failed to take action in four cases when he was Archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982.
    The report on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising concluded that there were at least 497 victims of acts committed by at least 235 people, including 173 priests, between 1945 and 2019.
    It was commissioned by the archdiocese and carried out by the Westpfahl Spilker Wastl law firm.
    Lawyer Martin Pusch said two of the cases regarded abuses committed during Benedict's time as archbishop that were sanctioned by the state.
    "In both cases, the perpetrators remained active in pastoral care," Pusch said.
    The report said Benedict denies making mistakes in these four cases or involvement in cover-ups.
    Another lawyer, Lawyer Ulrich Wastl, said Benedict's assertion that he was not present at a meeting in 1980, when a decision was made to take on a paedophile priest in the archdiocese, lacked credibility.
    "The Holy See believes that it must give the right level of attention to the document, which it does not know that content of at the moment," Vatican Spokesman Matteo Bruni told reporters.
    "We will look at it and be able to examine the details in the coming days following its publication.
    "In reiterating the sense of shame and remorse at the abuses of minors committed by members of the clergy, the Holy See is close to all the victims and confirms that road taken to protect children, guaranteeing them safe environments". (ANSA).


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