Pope Benedict XVI Asks For Forgiveness After Investigation Finds He Failed To Act Against Child Sex Abuse
Pope Benedict XVI is pushing back against accusations that he knew in 1980 a priest who was under his authority was a child molester. Benedict also denied he hid his presence at a meeting about the priest that same year.
Recently, the former Pope has come under fire for his time as the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, after a church commissioned report was released last month about abuse by clergy members. The report found that Benedict was informed about four cases of sexual abuse regarding minors including two, during his time in Munich where he failed to punish or investigate the accused priest.
The report also revealed that Benedict was present at a meeting about an abuser identified as Priest X, but he denied that he was at the meeting. Days after the report’s release Benedict admitted that he was present during the meeting blaming his earlier denial as an “error in the editing of his statement.”
On Tuesday, four employees of the former Pope said that although he was at the meeting, he was not aware that the priest was a sex abuser. The employees said Benedict thought “it was exclusively a question of the accommodation of the young Priest X in Munich because he had to undergo therapy there. This request was complied with. During the meeting, the reason for the therapy was not mentioned.”
The findings of investigators have found that Benedict has failed to prevent and punish abuse. Despite the allegations, Benedict has said on Tuesday that he is “of good cheer” as he faces “the final judge of my life.”
Benedict again admitted that he attended the meeting in 1980. He also issued an apology to the victims of abuse writing “I can only express to all the victims of sexual abuse my profound shame, my deep sorrow and my heartfelt request for forgiveness.”