Abuse report incriminates Pope Benedict XVI.
A 1,900-page expert report on abuse in the Catholic archdiocese of Munich and Freising heavily incriminates Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Benedict, who was archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982, is said to have taken no action against clergy accused of sexually abusing minors in four cases. He rejects all accusations.
Withdraw honorary title
Action must now be taken, the Irish Examiner demands:
“It is shocking but hardly surprising that an inquiry has found that former Pope Benedict XVI failed to stop four clergymen accused of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Munich. ... In 2013 when Benedict became the first pope to abdicate in 600 years, he was allowed to live in the Vatican and assume the title Pope Emeritus as an honour. In light of the fact that last June Pope Francis changed the Catholic Church's laws to explicitly criminalise sexual abuse and decree that bishops must take action when a complaint is made, allowing him to retain that title would dishonour the victims.”
Proper investigation will help the Church survive
The Catholic Church must also stop denying and suppressing information to defend its own interests, demands Der Standard:
“That the pope emeritus Benedict XVI will one day have something significant to announce - namely that he was fallible as the Archbishop of Munich Joseph Ratzinger and covered up abuse - is unfortunately not to be expected. ... But the motto 'Close your eyes and wave the incense' must cease to exist. The Church owes that to its far too many victims. Moreover, this will help it to survive. Otherwise the churches in Catholic Bavaria will soon be empty.”
Struggle between liberal and orthodox continues
For Corriere della Sera the issue comes down to disputes within the Catholic Church in Germany:
“The investigation was carried out at the instigation of Reinhard Marx, the current Archbishop of Munich, who supports Pope Francis and is a leading representative of the progressive wing hostile to Ratzinger. ... In the German episcopate there have been rifts between 'orthodox' and 'liberal' clergy for years. These concern relations with the gay community, the possibility of abolishing celibacy for priests and female priesthood. Now an internal dispute is also emerging over the Munich report. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, and others too, see this as 'another global wave of mudslinging against the Church for things that go back forty years'.”