20 January 2022
Former Pope Benedict XVI failed to act over four child abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich, a German probe into the Catholic Church has alleged.
Pope Benedict, then called Josef Ratzinger, held the position from 1977 to 1982. He has denied the accusations.
But a new report into historical abuse allegations carried out by a German law firm incriminated the former pontiff.
Abuse continued under his tenure, it is alleged, and the accused priests remained active in church roles.
The former pope, now aged 94, became the first Church leader to resign in more than 600 years in 2013, citing exhaustion. Since then, he has led a largely quiet life in the Vatican City and is known as pope emeritus.
The new report from German law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl was commissioned by the Catholic Church.
A previous report into historical abuse in Germany concluded that more than 3,600 people nationwide had been abused by clergy members between 1946 and 2014. Many of the victims were very young and served as altar boys.
The new report looking into the Munich and Freising areas specifically found at least 497 abuse victims from 1945 to 2019.
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