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Ex-pope Benedict XVI asks for forgiveness over sex abuse scandal

Alice Ritchie – Agence France-Presse

February 9, 2022 | 9: 03am

VATICAN CITY, Holy Undercover agent — Ex-pope Benedict XVI asked for forgiveness Tuesday for clerical youngster sex abuse dedicated on his survey, but aides rejected allegations of a mask-up while he used to be archbishop of Munich.

“I’m in a position to ideal categorical to all the victims of sexual abuse my profound shame, my deep sorrow and my heartfelt query for forgiveness,” the 94-year-aged mentioned in a letter printed by the Vatican.

The letter from the aged pontiff — who stepped down in 2013 — used to be released in preserving with a German inquiry last month that criticised his facing of conditions keen paedophile monks within the 1980s.

“I surely agree with had gargantuan tasks within the Catholic Church. Your total elevated is my worry for the abuses and the errors that took place in these diversified locations all the method thru the time of my mandate,” he wrote.

On the opposite hand, organisations representing abuse victims criticised the shortcoming of specifics in his feedback.

German neighborhood Eckiger Tisch mentioned Benedict continued a Catholic Church custom of declaring that “there were acts and faults, but no one takes concrete responsibility”.

Remaining month’s German investigation accused the aged pope of knowingly failing to discontinue four monks accused of juvenile sex abuse when he used to be archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982. 

Benedict, who is in extinct properly being, asked a team of aides to abet him acknowledge to the lengthy findings by regulation firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW), charged by the archdiocese of Munich and Freising to head looking out abuse between 1945 and 2019.

The aides insisted in an accompanying statement Tuesday that “as an archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger used to be not concerned in any mask-up of acts of abuse”, the advise of the pope’s birth title, Joseph Ratzinger.

No longer mindful

In one case, a now infamous paedophile priest named Peter Hullermann used to be transferred to Munich from Essen in western Germany the place he had been accused of abusing an 11-year-aged boy.

Benedict’s team has already admitted to unintentionally giving fallacious records to the file authors after they denied his attendance at a gathering about Hullermann in 1980.

However they denied any resolution had been taken at that meeting about reassigning the priest to pastoral tasks, and on Tuesday mentioned the abuse had not been mentioned.

“In not one among the conditions analysed by the professional file used to be Joseph Ratzinger privy to sexual abuse dedicated or suspicion of sexual abuse dedicated by monks. The professional file offers no proof to the contrary,” the statement mentioned.

In his letter, Benedict expressed wound that the “oversight” over his attendance at the 1980 meeting “used to be historical to solid doubt on my truthfulness, and even to trace me a liar”.

Benedict, who lives in a aged monastery within the Vatican partitions, mentioned he used to be grateful “for the self-esteem, enhance and prayer that Pope Francis personally expressed to me”. 

Francis has mentioned nothing in public although the Vatican defended Benedict last month, noting his conferences with abuse victims and introduction of licensed tricks to fight paedophilia.

Dismay and trembling

Before becoming pope, Benedict led the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation, giving him last responsibility to examine abuse conditions.

In his letter, he spoke of “confession”, asserting that daily, he asked himself whether or not he used to be guilty of “a most coarse fault”, the advise of the phrase mentioned all the method thru confession at Mass.

“In all my conferences… with victims of sexual abuse by monks, I surely agree with considered first of all hand the implications of a most coarse fault,” he wrote.

“I surely agree with advance to realise that we ourselves are drawn into this coarse fault at any time when we neglect it or fail to confront it with the desired decisiveness and responsibility, as too usually passed off and continues to happen.”

However his feedback fell looking out what the SNAP survivors community mentioned used to be required.

“The opportunity for detoxification (that) the file out of Munich supplied has been squandered,” it mentioned, condemning Benedict’s “lack of candour”.

Benedict done his letter watching that “reasonably soon, I shall bring together myself before the closing think of my life”.

“As I look aid on my long life, I’m in a position to agree with gargantuan explanation for worry and trembling,” he wrote.

However he used to be nevertheless “of lawful cheer” as he ready to “pass confidently thru the darkish door of death”.

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