Independent counsel finds it "highly plausible" that Regensburg school was site of abuse between 1945 and 1992
Father Hans Zöllner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, reacted to the announcement of a report on numerous cases of sexual abuse committed in Germany. In the Italian edition of Radio Vatican today, the Jesuit praised the “courage of the bishop” of Regensburg for seeking the truth.
A report on abuse in a Catholic primary school in Bavaria was commissioned by the Catholic Church in Germany. Written by independent counsel Ulrich Weber, and made public July 18, the report described as “highly plausible” the conclusion that more than 500 students experienced physical, and also sometimes sexual, violence at the school between 1945 and 1992.
Father Zöllner, a theologian and psychologist, welcomed the “courage of the bishop to shine a light on a truly somber darkness.” Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer is the current Bishop of Regensburg.
“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free,” Father Zöllner commented on July 18 for the Huffington Post. He himself was born in Regensburg in 1966, but attended other schools.
Father Zöllner directs the Center for the Protection of Minors at the Gregorian University in Rome.
The report also accuses Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, brother of Benedict XVI and director, from 1964 to 1994, of the choir attached to the school, for having “looked the other way.”
However, the vicar general of the diocese, Father Michael Fuchs, said he believes that Msgr. Ratzinger was never aware of sexual violence in the school.
In 2010, Georg Ratzinger acknowledged that a slap would be used as discipline for the choir boys, recalling that in those days, such forms of punishment were widely accepted and the common practice. AP
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