Report on sexual abuse in German diocese faults retired pope / Associated Press

‘In a total of four cases, we came to the conclusion that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Retzinger, can be accused of misconduct,’ said one of the reports’ authors, Martin Pusch. (Associated Press)

“A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese on Thursday (Jan. 20) faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s. The law firm that drew up the report said Benedict strongly denies any wrongdoing.

“The findings, though, were sure to reignite criticism of Benedict’s record more than a decade after the first, and until Thursday only, known case involving him was made public.

“The archdiocese commissioned the report from law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl nearly two years ago, with a mandate to look into abuse between 1945 and 2019 and whether church officials handled allegations correctly. The law firm examined church files and spoke to witnesses.

“The archdiocese and the law firm said top church officials weren’t informed of the results ahead of its publication. The current archbishop — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, a prominent reformist ally of Pope Francis — was faulted in two cases. Marx scheduled a statement later Thursday.”

By Geir Moulson, Associated Press — Read more …