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German bishops are accusing Pope Benedict XVI of covering up sexual abuse when he was archbishop of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising between 1977 and 1981. Church Militant's Joe Gallager tells us about the controversy surrounding the accusation.
A new report on clerical sex abuse, commissioned by the Munich archdiocese, is accusing the now 94-year-old retired pontiff of lying. Benedict previously denied being at a 1980 meeting about an allegedly abusive priest, but further evidence showed he was there. He has since acknowledged he misremembered.
A German lawyer, Lothar Rilinger, is firing back at the report, calling it "an accusation devoid of substance but full of ideological motives."
Bishop Georg Bätzing, current president of the German bishops' conference, is calling for Benedict to apologize, saying, "He must make a statement; he must set aside the recommendations of his advisers and say clearly and simply, 'I bear [the] guilt; I have made mistakes; I ask forgiveness from those affected.'"
Currently heading the archdiocese of Munich and Freising is one of Pope Francis' personal advisers, Cdl. Reinhard Marx — a theological dissident and proponent of the Synodal Way, which is seeking to re-engineer the Catholic Church in Germany.
Marx tendered his resignation to Pope Francis in May, claiming some responsibility in the German Church's sex abuse crisis. Pope Francis refused to grant it, praising his personal friend and comparing his confession to the confession of St. Peter to Christ.
Marx is also named in the same report that condemns Ratzinger, but, with Pope Francis' history of supporting alleged sex abusers who are his personal friends, it's not likely that Marx will face any justice for passing over abuse.
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