Abuse survivor seeks damages from Benedict XVI 

Then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger on the day of his ordination as archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977 (CNS/KNA)

A sexual abuse survivor is reported to be suing retired Pope Benedict XVI in connection with the Munich abuse scandal. Source: CNS.

The German Catholic news agency KNA reported the survivor has accused Pope Benedict — who, as Joseph Ratzinger served as archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982 – of having “responsibly approved” the appointment of a priest as a pastoral minister in a Bavarian parish some 40 years ago, even though the man was known to be an abuser.

The legal action is aimed at establishing that the retired pope was partly to blame for the abuse scandal through a so-called “declaratory action”, public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk reported yesterday.

The plaintiff claims to have been abused by the former priest Peter H. The plaintiff’s lawyer wants a civil court to declare that Pope Benedict must compensate the survivor for the damage caused by the abuse, since the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising had been aware of H’s offenses.

The former pope has always denied this knowledge and has claimed that he was not involved in the decision to employ the cleric.

The lawyer has based the lawsuit on a canonical decree on the H case from 2016 and on the study by a Munich law firm from 2022. He argues that the decree stated that the Church officials in charge at the time had committed a breach of duty. The law firm report also established that the Munich archbishops were partly responsible for cases of abuse, the lawyer claimed.


Abuse victim seeks damages from retired Pope Benedict XVI(CNS)

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