Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry 3/13/10 Richard Owen, Rome
The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria. The priest was sent from Essen to Munich for therapy in 1980 when he was accused of forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. The archdiocese confirmed that the Pope, who was then a cardinal, had approved a decision to accommodate the priest in a rectory while the therapy took place.
The priest, identified only as H, was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing minors after he was moved to pastoral work in nearby Grafing. In 1986 he was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence and fined DM 4,000 (£1,800 today). There have been no formal charges against him since. The church has been accused of a cover-up after at least 170 allegations of child abuse by German Catholic priests.
Vatican to Drop Statute of Limitations for Pedophile Priests March 13, 2010 By Flavia Krause-Jackson (Bloomberg) - The Vatican's chief prosecutor will remove the statute of limitations for priests accused of child molestation and said today it was "false and calumnious" to accuse Pope Benedict XVI of a cover-up....Benedict has struggled to contain damage to the Church's reputation by allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
Bringing the scandal a step closer to the papacy, a German Church report said yesterday that when he was archbishop of Munich he took part in the 1980 decision to move a priest accused of molestation to his diocese to undergo therapy....Asked whether the Church has been too lenient, Scicluna says "it may be that in the past, perhaps also out of a misdirected desire to protect the good name of the institution, some bishops were, in practice, too indulgent towards this sad phenomenon."
Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe By SHAWN POGATCHNIK (AP) - 3/13/10 DUBLIN - It often starts as a voice in the wilderness, but can swell into an entire nation's demand for truth. From Ireland to Germany, Europe's many victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic church are finally breaking social taboos and confronting the clergy....Floodgates opened for Irish complaints that have topped 15,000 in this country of 4 million. Three government-ordered investigations have shocked and disgusted the nation, which has footed most of the bill to settle legal claims topping euro1 billion (nearly $1.5 billion)....
In January, an elite Jesuit school in Berlin declared it was aware of seven child-abuse cases in its past and appointed an outside investigator, Ursula Raue, to seek testimony. Within weeks, she had gathered stories of long-suppressed woe from more than 100 ex-students abused by their Jesuit masters, and from 60 molested by parish priests.
Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal By John Cooney 3/13/10
A depressing week for Pope Benedict dramatically escalated last night into an unprecedented papal crisis when he was directly implicated in a cover-up of a German paedophile priest when he was Cardinal Archbishop of Munich 30 years ago. The latest revelations are so potentially damaging to the reputation of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that speculation was mounting last night that they could severely, perhaps even irreparably, damage his moral authority as Pope Benedict XVI. It was being speculated that the German Pope could conceivably have to recognise that his position as supreme pontiff could become untenable -- and do what was until now considered impossible, resign from the Petrine throne....
The Dutch church has climbed to 350 complaints just a week after the Salesians first admitted they were investigating claims that three pupils in a school were abused in the 1960s. In Austria, the Benedictine arch-abbot of St Peter's in Salzburg has resigned after admitting he abused a 12-year-old boy 40 years ago.
Benedict's involvement 'shows extent of cover-ups' By Breda Heffernan 3/13/10 Irish victims of clerical sex abuse said the involvement of Pope Benedict XVI in covering up for paedophile priests showed that the practice was endemic within the Catholic Church and said he should now consider his own position. Andrew Madden, who was abused by a priest in the Dublin Archdiocese, said it appeared the Pope was doing the same thing as the archbishops of Dublin going back to John Charles McQuaid by not reporting clerics to the civil authorities....
Another victim, Marie Collins, said the implication of the Pope in clerical sex scandals in Germany showed the practice of covering up for offenders and moving them on to different dioceses was "church-wide".