Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Vatican City

Retired Pope Benedict corrects statement for Munich abuse report

By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE | Published January 24, 2022

VATICAN CITY—Amending a written statement made to a panel investigating clerical sexual abuse in his former Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, retired Pope Benedict XVI said he was present at a 1980 meeting to discuss the transfer of a priest accused of misconduct.

“He did attend the meeting on Jan. 15, 1980,” said a statement issued on Pope Benedict’s behalf by his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein. “The statement to the contrary was therefore objectively incorrect. He would like to emphasize that this was not done out of bad faith but was the result of an oversight in the editing of his statement,” the archbishop said Jan. 24.

The 94-year-old Pope Benedict, he said, is still going through an almost 1,900-page report, which was released Jan. 20 and looked at the handling of cases in the archdiocese between 1945 and 2019. The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed the Munich Archdiocese from 1977 to 1982.

Once the retired pope has had the time to thoroughly read the Westpfahl Spilker Wastl report, Archbishop Ganswein said, “he will explain” how the editing error occurred. “He is very sorry for this mistake and asks pardon,” the archbishop said.