Saturday, May 28, 2022

Child Sexual Abuse: Feminist activists want ex-Pope Benedict to stop using papal name

Now 94 years old, the former Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, is charged with four counts of misconduct, for which he has denied.

• January 24, 2022
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Feminist activists have urged Pope Emeritus Joseph Ratzinger to stop using his papal name, Benedict XVI, in the wake of an investigation into abuse cases in the southern German state of Bavaria.

“We expect Joseph Ratzinger to refrain from using his papal name and its associated titles and insignia,’’ the feminist initiative Maria 2.0 demanded.

The activists charged that Mr Ratzinger, as archbishop during the time in question, had downplayed the sexual abuse of minors “in an almost brazen way’’.

The former Pope led the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982, went on to become a cardinal and eventually assumed the papacy.

A report commissioned by the archdiocese itself came to the conclusion that cases of sexual abuse in the diocese have not been dealt with appropriately for decades.

The report spoke of at least 497 victims and 235 alleged perpetrators, but assume that there was a significantly larger number of undisclosed causes.

Regional church leaders have been criticised for apparently acting first to protect the clerical system instead of showing empathy for abuse victims.

Now 94 years old, Mr Ratzinger is charged with four counts of misconduct, for which he has denied the allegations in a statement of defence.

Former archbishop Friedrich Wetter was also personally accused of misconduct in several cases, as was the current archbishop, Cardinal Reinhard Marx.

“This report must not remain without consequences for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, but also for the Catholic Church as a whole,’’ the Maria 2.0 initiative asserted.

(dpa/NAN)

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