Document incriminates deceased Pope Benedict XVI. – Politics

As archbishop, Joseph Ratzinger allowed Priest H. to celebrate Holy Mass with grape juice instead of wine. The reason: The priest is said to have previously abused children under the influence of alcohol.

What did Joseph Ratzinger know about the repeat offender Priest H. in the abuse scandal? This already explosive question gets new fuel through an exchange of letters that has now become known, about which the research platform Correctiv and the Bavarian radio report.

As confirmed by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, in 1986 Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave the scandal priest permission, in a letter he signed himself, to celebrate Holy Mass with grape juice instead of wine. The archdiocese had previously asked for this special permit and justified the request with the fact that the priest had committed crimes under paragraphs 174, 176 and 184 of the Criminal Code (StGB) under the influence of alcohol. The paragraphs deal with the sexual abuse of persons under protection, the sexual abuse of children and the dissemination of pornographic content.

In 1980, after allegations of abuse against him, priest H. was transferred from North Rhine-Westphalia to the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. Cardinal Ratzinger was archbishop there at the time. The later Pope Benedict XVI. had always denied during his lifetime that he knew about the allegations against H. at the time. Ratzinger passed away on New Year’s Eve last year.

After his transfer, H. relapsed and in 1986 – the year the Archdiocese exchanged letters with Ratzinger – was sentenced by the Ebersberg district court to 18 months’ imprisonment on probation and a fine of 4,000 marks for sexual abuse of minors.

Nevertheless, H. was then reinstated as a pastor – and again abused children in Garching an der Alz. H. has sued one of his victims, as well as the archbishopric of Munich and the former cardinals Ratzinger and Friedrich Wetter because of accusations of cover-up. On March 28th there will be a hearing at the district court in Traunstein.

The H. case was the most prominent in the report by the Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) law firm on sexual violence in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, which made the headlines last year. The chancellery also had the correspondence that has now become known, said the spokesman for the archdiocese. However, it does not appear in the report – apparently because it was not included in the investigation order.

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