After the death of Benedict XVI: struggle for the sovereignty of interpretation in Altötting – Bavaria

A visit by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the longtime confidant of the late Pope Benedict XVI, is accompanied by protests in Altötting. It’s about abuse in the church and allegations of cover-ups.

After the death of Pope Benedict XVI. the fight for the sovereignty of interpretation of his work is in full swing. Critics see him as a cover-up for abuse cases, supporters deny this. In Altötting both camps now faced each other. Georg Gänswein, the late Pope’s private secretary for many years, presented his new book “Nothing but the Truth” with publisher Manuel Herder in the packed large hall of the Congress Forum on Saturday evening. A group of about 20 people from the “Initiative Sauerteig” from Garching an der Alz and from “Wir sind Kirche” had positioned themselves in front of the door.

The demonstrators used banners and leaflets to draw attention to the fact that, from their point of view, “Joseph Ratzinger’s knowledge of the abuse also belongs to the truth”. A slogan: “Ratzinger knew about it”. There was no direct encounter with Gänswein. Apparently, the topic didn’t play a role at the event itself.

About 20 people protested. Joseph Ratzinger’s knowledge of the abuse is also part of the truth, they warned.

(Photo: Peter Kneffel/dpa)

The “Initiative Sourdough” was created in Garching in connection with the processing of acts of abuse by a pastor who had already been convicted. The initiative calls for “compensation that does justice to the true extent of the damage”. Among other things, she supports the civil action brought by an alleged victim of abuse. The man is demanding damages from the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, the priest accused of being the perpetrator and several former Munich archbishops. The defendants include the late Ratzinger. A hearing before the district court of Traunstein is scheduled to begin on June 20th. In Ratzinger’s case, the lawsuit passes to his legal heirs, who have not yet been identified. The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising has already signaled that it is prepared to pay appropriate compensation. The initiative generally calls for better processing of cases of sexual abuse in the church and higher compensation.

At the event, Gänswein reported on life in the “papal family” and that his boss hadn’t changed, even as head of the Catholic Church. Benedikt has always kept his sense of humor. And first and foremost he was a Bavarian – probably only after that a German. That was a good thing to hear from the audience in the Upper Bavarian place of pilgrimage, to which Gänswein had also traveled to celebrate the service for the Brother Konrad Festival in the basilica on Sunday. The German Pope, who died on New Year’s Eve morning, would have been 96 years old this Sunday. On this birthday, Gänswein was also expected in his birthplace Marktl am Inn for a book signing.

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