Munich Abuse Case – Archbishop Ratzinger Failed to Deal with Suspected Pedophile Priest By Conny Neumann and Peter Wensierski 11/29/2010
New documents show how the former Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — and his successor Reinhard Marx failed to properly deal with a suspected pedophile. Despite massive allegations of abuse, the archdiocese allowed the priest to continue working with children…..
According to the allegations, during his tenure in Munich, Ratzinger did not give sufficient attention to the type of duties that were assigned to the alleged pedophile H. Despite massive allegations of abuse levied against the priest, the archdiocese led by Ratzinger allowed H. to continue to be involved in church work with children and young people.
For months now, very little progress has been made in clearing up this case. This is partly because the current archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Marx, who the pope recently promoted to cardinal, swiftly decided that the matter was settled.
H. was transferred to Munich in January 1980 after he had apparently sexually abused a number of boys in his home diocese of Essen. Under Ratzinger’s leadership, the Munich archdiocese expressly approved H.’s transfer on January 15, 1980. It was decided that the cleric was to undergo therapy.
Recently discovered documents now show that there could have been no doubt in Munich about the priest’s previous history. The head of personnel in Essen had informed Ratzinger’s head of personnel by phone and in writing that, in regard to H., “there is a risk which has prompted us to immediately remove him from the parish.” Furthermore, he said that “an official complaint has been lodged by members of the parish.”
But his victims are still waiting in vain for a genuine clarification of the matter. Wilfried Fesselmann, for instance, who says that he was abused by H. in 1979, wrote to Pope Benedict XVI last May. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith replied: “Your request is being processed.” Since then, he has heard nothing from them. The archdiocese of Munich is also reticent to comment on the case, despite the fact that Marx has pledged: “We want to do everything to clear this up — we will not look away, play it down or point the finger at others.”….
In spring 2010, the Munich affair caused an enormous stir. It initially looked as if the abuse scandal would engulf Ratzinger personally. After all, the pedophile who was accepted by him into the archdiocese in Munich was able to continue working there as a pastor for three decades and find new victims — despite the fact that he was charged a fine and given a suspended sentence in 1986 for abusing schoolchildren.