Benedict XVI admits false testimony in German mistreatment case

Reuters. – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI admitted this morning that he was at a 1980 meeting on a sexual assault case when he was Archbishop of Munich, He said he had mistakenly told German investigators that he was not there.

This came in a report issued last week on the violations that occurred in the diocese between 1945 and 2019 Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger failed to take action against the clergy in four cases of alleged abuse When he was its archbishop between 1977 and 1982.

At last week’s press conference in Munich, lawyers investigating abuses challenged Benedict’s claim in an 82-page statement that he did not remember attending a 1980 meeting to discuss the case of an abusive chaplain. They said this contradicts the documents in their possession.

The Pope Emeritus’ personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gansweyn, said in a statement this morning: Benedict XVI attended the meeting, but this omission “was the result of an oversight in the editing of the manifesto” and “was not done in bad faith”.

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Gänswein said that at the 1980 meeting no decision was made on a new assignment for the priest, only a request to provide him with accommodation during curative treatment.

“He (Pope Emeritus) is very sorry for this mistake and asks for his pardon,” Gansweyn said.

In that sense, the spokesperson said Benedicto planned to explain how the error occurred after he finished examining the nearly 2,000-page report, which was sent electronically last Thursday.

Benedict XVI, 94, sick and living in the Vatican, resigned from the papacy in 2013.

“He carefully reads the statements in it, which makes him ashamed and anguished by the suffering inflicted on the victims,” ​​Ganswein said. He added that the full review “will take some time given his age and health.”

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