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Ratzinger 'failed to deal with suspected paedophile' - reports

A German magazine says new documents show that Pope Benedict allowed a suspected paedophile to work with children.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - later Pope Benedict XVI - photographed during his period as Archbishop of Munich and Freising.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - later Pope Benedict XVI - photographed during his period as Archbishop of Munich and Freising.

POPE BENEDICT allowed a priest suspected of being a paedophile to continue working with children, despite ‘massive’ allegations of abuse, it is reported.

German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that the Pope – when he was the Archbishop of Munich and Freising – had been aware of allegations against an offending priest, identified only as H, but had turned down applications by the priest to be transferred within the diocese, leaving him in a parish where he regularly dealt with young children.

H – who had been transferred from the neighbouring diocese of Essen just a few months previously – had worked as a pastor in Ratzinger’s diocese, but had applications to be appointed as a parish priest elsewhere turned down.

H had told his parishioners at the time that Cardinal Ratzinger had turned down the request because the the elderly parish priest was often ill, and because H was so popular among the young people of his current parish.

It has now emerged emerged that the bishop in his previous diocese had notified Munich of complaints made against H, but which were apparently ignored by Ratzinger’s administration.

Though the Munich diocese claimed that H had been approved for therapy shortly after his transfer to its ranks, H was assigned to further pastoral duties just two weeks later, in which he organised pilgrimages for young children, and arranged sports events after which he praised the “dexterity” and “athletic ability” of some young parishioners.

Some of those parishioners have since complained of being sexually abused by H during his tenure.

Investigations into the matter had been held up, Der Spiegel adds, because Marx had been appointed a Cardinal – by the Pope – in the intervening months. Marx, at 57, is one of the youngest Cardinals in the Church.

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Gavan Reilly

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