64-year history of abuse in single Archdiocese once led by current Pope
Even with many documents missing or destroyed, a single investigation into the Munich Archdiocese has implicated hundreds of priests and staff in abusing children over a 64-year period, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A new report found that more than 250 priests and clerical staff were implicated in abusing children over a 64-year period in the Munich Archdiocese that Pope Benedict XVI once led, but that destruction of church documents over time prevented a full accounting of the scandal.
The report, released Friday by a church-appointed law firm, is the result of a six-month audit of the diocese’s vast archives to see how Catholic leaders handled, or mishandled, past sexual abuse cases in the pope’s former archdiocese.
Though similar archival searches have been under way elsewhere since a clerical abuse scandal first rocked Germany and other European countries this year, the Munich investigation has held particular attention because of what skeletons it might unearth from the pope’s tenure there as then-Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger from 1977 to 1982.
In total, the audit found evidence that 159 priests from 1945 to 2009 were involved in some sort of abuse, while 26 of them were convicted specifically of sexual abuse. The report added that investigators found evidence that an additional 17 priests also committed sexual abuse.
In addition, investigators found evidence 15 deacons and 96 religion teachers also committed abuse, though only two were ever convicted of sexual abuse, according to the report.
Full article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703350104575653110492675020.html