A new German investigation has accused Pope Benedict XVI of “wrongdoing” in his handling of sexual abuse cases during his tenure at the archdiocese of Munich from 1977 to 1982.
The news: A church-commissioned German law firm carried out an investigation into Benedict, who had previously said he had no knowledge of sexual abuse cases. The investigation said that was not a credible statement.
- Investigators said Benedict could be accused of wrongdoing in four different cases.
- In one of these cases, “he knowingly accepted a priest into his archdiocese even after the cleric had been convicted of sexual abuse in a criminal court,” according to The Washington Post.
- The report alleges that abuse continued while Benedict was at the archdiocese and the accused priests had active church roles, BBC News reports.
Why it matters: The findings “amounted to a searing judgment on one of the most influential Catholic figures of the last century,” The Washington Post reports.
The other side: Per NBC News, Benedict denied any wrongdoing in the case.
- The Vatican told NBC News that the report’s “contents are presently unknown.”
- “In coming days, following its publication, the Holy See will be able to give it a careful and detailed examination,” Matteo Bruni, the director of the Vatican Press Office, said in a statement to NBC News. ”In reiterating shame and remorse for abuses committed by clerics against minors, the Holy See expresses its closeness to all victims and reaffirms the efforts undertaken to protect minors and ensure safe environments for them.