Posts Tagged Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Father Zollner: Retired pope should make personal statement on abuse report / Cruxnow.com

Voice of the Faithful has been struggling against the Church’s lack of transparency and accountability around the clergy sexual abuse scandal for 20 years. Read about its programs and projects on its website at www.votf.org.

Following the publication of an experts’ report on how sexual abuse was handled in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, the German Catholic news agency KNA spoke to Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since its creation and president of the Institute of Anthropology: Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.

KNAFather Zollner, you were questioned by the Munich law office Westpfahl Spilker Wastl beforehand in preparing its experts’ report. What exactly was your contribution?

Zollner: What I knew was that part in which the experts wrote about the potential theological, canonical and systemic consequences. I did not see a single file, not a single statement of a contemporary witness. It was only about the theoretical conclusions of the experts that I offered my assessment.

What’s your evaluation of the final result?

My comments were taken up. Following the reactions of the victims and others, what makes this latest report so valuable is its comprehensive approach. For it deals not only with the legal aspects, but also measures what happened against the church’s self-image. Which, by the way, was also the instruction. Additionally, it shows that an experts’ report that was assigned and paid for by the church can very well be independent. The matters are clearly addressed and the methodology worked: Not only were documents evaluated, but also the victims were included and contemporary witnesses questioned.

By Catholic News Service on Cruxnow.com — Read more …

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Report on sexual abuse in German diocese faults retired pope / Associated Press

‘In a total of four cases, we came to the conclusion that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Retzinger, can be accused of misconduct,’ said one of the reports’ authors, Martin Pusch.

Associated Press

“A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese on Thursday (Jan. 20) faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s. The law firm that drew up the report said Benedict strongly denies any wrongdoing.

“The findings, though, were sure to reignite criticism of Benedict’s record more than a decade after the first, and until Thursday only, known case involving him was made public.

“The archdiocese commissioned the report from law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl nearly two years ago, with a mandate to look into abuse between 1945 and 2019 and whether church officials handled allegations correctly. The law firm examined church files and spoke to witnesses.

“The archdiocese and the law firm said top church officials weren’t informed of the results ahead of its publication. The current archbishop — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, a prominent reformist ally of Pope Francis — was faulted in two cases. Marx scheduled a statement later Thursday.”

By Geir Moulson, Associated Press — Read more …

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In surprise, Benedict openly defends clerical celibacy as Francis considers married priests / National Catholic Reporter

“Although the volume is yet to be seen in full, it appears to signify something as yet unexperienced in the two millennia history of the Catholic Church: a retired pope openly weighing in on something currently under consideration by his successor, the reigning pontiff.” (National Catholic Reporter)

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has coauthored a new book defending the Catholic Church’s practice of a celibate priesthood, in a shocking move that comes as Pope Francis is considering the possibility of allowing older, married men to be ordained as priests in the Amazon region.

“According to excerpts from the volume released Jan. 12 by the conservative French outlet Le Figaro, the ex-pontiff says he could not remain silent on the issue as Francis is contemplating the move, which was requested by the bishops from the nine-nation Amazon region at October’s Vatican synod gathering.

“The book is co-written with Cardinal Robert Sarah, the head of the Vatican’s liturgy office. It is to be released in France Jan. 15 and carries the title Des profondeurs de nos cœurs (‘From the Depths of Our Hearts’).

“Although the volume is yet to be seen in full, it appears to signify something as yet unexperienced in the two millennia history of the Catholic Church: a retired pope openly weighing in on something currently under consideration by his successor, the reigning pontiff.

“One noted theologian reached shortly after the release of the excerpts called Benedict’s decision to write on the issue a ‘serious breach.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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