ROME — Two weeks after a report discovered that retired Pope Benedict XVI had mishandled 4 instances involving the sexual abuse of minors whereas he was an archbishop in Germany many years in the past, he acknowledged on Tuesday that “abuses and errors” had taken place below his watch, however denied any misconduct.
“I’ve had nice obligations within the Catholic Church,” Benedict mentioned in his response. “All of the higher is my ache for the abuses and the errors that occurred in these totally different locations in the course of the time of my mandate. Every particular person case of sexual abuse is appalling and irreparable.”
The accusations hit on the prime of the Roman Catholic Church, which has been struggling to cope with a sexual abuse disaster for 20 years. Throughout his eight-year papacy, Benedict added, he had met with dozens of abuse victims throughout many apostolic journeys and had “seen at first hand the consequences of a most grievous fault.”
In an evaluation accompanying the letter, nonetheless, 4 authorized consultants who had assisted the retired pope wrote that the report, drafted by a Munich legislation agency that carried out the investigation, “comprises no proof for an allegation of misconduct or conspiracy in any cover-up” on Benedict’s half.
Benedict, 94, was responding to a report commissioned by the German archdiocese that investigated how the church had dealt with instances of sexual abuse between 1945 and 2019. Benedict, on the time Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982.
The report mentioned a minimum of 497 victims of abuse had been recognized over the 74-year interval it examined, and located that Benedict had mishandled 4 instances throughout his practically 5 years as archbishop. Benedict’s authorized consultants mentioned of their evaluation that the investigators had not proven that Benedict knew of the prison historical past of any of the 4 monks in query.
In his response on Tuesday, Benedict took particular problem with one case involving a pedophile priest. The legal professionals who carried out the investigation discovered that Benedict had lied to them in the course of the course of their inquiry, when he denied that he had attended a Jan. 15, 1980, assembly within the diocese by which the priest’s case had been mentioned. Minutes of that assembly confirmed that Benedict had been current.
Days after the report was issued, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict’s private secretary, admitted Benedict was on the assembly and mentioned the declare on the contrary was an error launched within the enhancing course of for the retired pope’s 82-page reply to the Munich legislation agency. On Tuesday, Benedict described it as an sincere mistake that had been interpreted with undue harshness.
“To me it proved deeply hurtful that this oversight was used to solid doubt on my truthfulness, and even to label me a liar,” he mentioned.