Emeritus Pope Benedict sued over Munich abuse

Published date23 June 2022
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
The priest arrived in Munich from western Germany in 1980 for treatment as a paedophile and was allowed work in several Bavarian parishes, where he reoffended

Benedict has denied knowing anything about the priest's background.

When he was 11 or 12 years old, the man said, the priest showed him pornography and sexually abused him - but that his mother did not believe him when he told her.

"The priest pretty much lulled the whole community to sleep and sold himself very well," he told Die Zeit weekly. "These are cases out there that could have been prevented."

After the abuse, the 38-year-old said he began to struggle in school, ran away from home and became a user of hard drugs.

He filed a criminal complaint against the priest in 2010, by now a convicted sex offender in Munich, but the public prosecutor did not proceed as the statute of limitations on the alleged offences had lapsed.

The man's lawyer hopes move forward with a new civil action, demanding the Bavarian court retrospectively determine whether the perpetrator - and his superiors in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising - have responsibility for the priest's actions and the resulting sexual abuse.

"The plaintiff is not primarily concerned with money, but rather with establishing that what happened was wrong," said Andreas Schulz, the man's lawyer.

In his filing, the lawyer draws on January's Munich...

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