Benedict Apology Falls Short
ROME – Abuse survivors have criticized retired Pope Benedict XVI’s apology Tuesday for his failures in handling the abuse crisis, saying his refusal to admit wrongdoing in several cases while archbishop of Munich is disappointing and serves as proof that the Church has not learned its lesson.On Jan. 20 a nearly 2,000-page report commissioned by the Archdiocese of Munich and conducted by the Westpfahl Spilker Wastl law firm was published, finding that 497 people had been abused in the Munich archdiocese from 1945 to 2019, and identifying some 235 abusers, including priests, deacons, and lay Church workers.
Benedict XVI, who led the Archdiocese of Munich from 1977-1982, in three cases was accused of covering up for abuser priests and allowing them to continue to hold assignments. While a fourth case examined found questioned his action, investigators cleared him of fault.
On Feb. 8 Benedict issued a formal response to the report’s allegations in which he apologized and asked forgiveness for his own “grievous fault” in the abuse crisis, saying that given the top leadership roles he has held in the Catholic Church, “all the greater is my pain for the abuses and the errors that occurred in those different places during the time of my mandate.”