Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News

Pope’s Brother’s Choir Faces Abuse Claims

BERLIN – An ever-widening sexual abuse scandal involving Germany’s Roman Catholic Church spilled into the heart of Pope Benedict XVI’s homeland Friday when a former member of a boy’s choir led for 30 years by his brother claimed he was a victim.
A former singer came forward with allegations church employees had sexually abused him in the early 1960s, said Clemens Neck, a spokesman for the Regensburg Diocese which oversees the school connected to the renowned Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir.
Neck gave no details on the extent of the abuse, but insisted it happened before the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the pope’s brother, took over the choir in 1964. Ratzinger led the choir, comprised of around 500 boys and young men, until his retirement in 1994.
Ratzinger told public radio Bayerischer Rundfunk on Friday he did not know of any abuse cases at the choir and another spokesman for the diocese, Jakob Schoetz, insisted the known cases of abuse did not happen during Ratzinger’s tenure.
“The cases that are known to us at this time did not take place during his tenure,” Schoetz wrote.
The allegations by the former Domspatzen singer are part of a spiraling scandal that has grown from the claims of seven former pupils at a Catholic-run Berlin high school to more than 170 ex-students from several of the church’s most prominent educational facilities in Germany, including the high school connected to the Domspatzen and the Ettal Monastery boarding school – both in the pope’s home region of Bavaria.
A Vatican source said the Holy See did not intend to immediately issue a formal statement on the claims in Regensburg, but added German bishops will meet the pope for talks March 12.
From 1969 to 1977 the pope, then Joseph Ratzinger, taught theology at the University of Regensburg.
On Friday, the Regensburg Diocese announced it was hiring a lawyer to help it carry out a “systematic” clarification of the abuse allegations that currently range from 1958 to 1973.
“We call on all victims to contact our representative for sexual abuse cases,” the dioceses said. “We would like to encourage people to come, to give a name to their suffering and, through this, to ease and eliminate the pain.”
On Thursday, the Ettal Monastery boarding school said the Vatican had confirmed it would send an inspector to look into accusations of sexual abuse made by 20 alumni of the school.
Munich prosecutors last week opened an investigation into allegations of abuse against one member of the Benedictine-run school. The second priest who accused of sexual abuse has since died.
Associated Press Writer Alessandra Rizzo in Rome contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • pagansister

    “And the beat goes on”. No longer surprised with anything that comes from the RCC. If true, swift justice would be really good!!!

  • nnmns

    Same structure, same leadership. It’s not surprising. And what country could be confident it wasn’t or isn’t happening there.

  • JohnQ

    I remember back when the US scandals were first becoming public that it was being suggested that this was only a USA problem. As though the problem was the US rather than the church hierarchy.
    The fact that it has popped up in several different countries would certainly suggest that it is systemic and wide-spread as well as it would appear that there must have been an organizational cover-up.

  • JohnQ

    I realize Bishop Ratzinger apparently took over after the abuse had taken place. But, if it was that wide spread one would think that someone would have mentioned it it him at some point. Either that of those hundreds of student…actually, thousands over the years as well as the clergy, staff, etc really can keep a secret.

  • cknuck

    “I was abused, I can’t give you details but you can give me money.”

  • nnmns

    The powers of cknuck are amazing. He magically knows all those people over in Germany are lying.
    Or maybe he just loves the Roman Catholic Church a lot more than he cares what happened to those kids in Germany.

  • jimm

    Welcome to our website:
    ===== ====
    jordan air max oakland raiders $34–39;
    Ed Hardy AF JUICY POLO Bikini $25;
    Christan Audigier BIKINI JACKET $25;
    gstar coogi evisu true jeans $35;
    coach chanel gucci LV handbags $36;
    coogi DG edhardy gucci t-shirts $18;
    CA edhardy vests.paul smith shoes $32;
    jordan dunk af1 max gucci shoes $37;
    EDhardy gucci ny New Era cap $16;
    coach okely Adidas CHANEL DG Sunglass $18;
    ===== ====

  • Henrrietta22

    I must say the idea Ck posted crossed my mind, too. One person decides after years to tell of his abuse and suddenly they are appearing like baby bunnies. 😉 One of the problems probably with all these abuse cases is that the RC people were afraid to report abuse, and their strict regiments made it easy for the abusers to keep on abusing. Seems like new rules should be acted on.
    Don’t you wonder what Jim the boot salesman thinks about all the subjects he posts between?

  • pagansister

    I’ve written the B’net community site 2 times, one the 26th Feb. and one today, complaining about the “free” ads that Jim is posting, and how irritating they are. No response from the Feb. 26 note, as the ads are still on the articles I told them about.

  • nnmns

    I’ve clicked the triangle on a couple of them, too. I don’t think this place is staffed nearly as well as it used to be. But also it’s the weekend.

  • goodguyex

    nnms writes “The powers of cknuck are amazing. He magically knows all those people over in Germany are lying.”
    If they are not lying I feel confident in writing most of them are 60-ish sexually active homosexuals now and were also consentually sexually active 50 or so years ago.
    In other words most of them liked it then and they like it now. If they deny this they are lying.

  • Henrietta22

    Lots of Psychics here; who is going to win the best actor and actress Oscar Awards tonight?

  • pagansister

    goodguyex: I totally doubt your theory about the men being homosexual and enjoying their abuse. What an absurd statement! You may have guessed some the ages correctly, but the rest is …as I said, your prejudice.

  • nnmns

    This is an extension of a field called Apologetics and is no doubt considered a way to get into heaven. For obvious reasons Apologetics has had a lot of resources devoted to it over the years by the RCC.

  • JohnQ

    So, following your reasoning.
    If the allege abuse had happened with females….and, the females went on to marry men and/or engage in sexual relations….then, the abuse was really alright?
    I know nothing of the individuals in this German case…..however, if you look into the abuse cases in the USA you will find that the vast majorities of those men who have accused RCC priests have in fact been straight.
    All that aside, I just want to understand….are you suggesting that if the Germans boys were homosexual….then, it was not really child abuse?

  • Your Name

    John Q writes “All that aside, I just want to understand….are you suggesting that if the Germans boys were homosexual….then, it was not really child abuse?”
    If an adult female teacher has sex with one of her 13-17 year old straight male students, is he a victim? Some would say so, others would not. Maybe such boys may grow with a twisted view of women.
    But as far as any such male victim straight or homosexuyal is concerned:
    Boys will be boys!
    If they REALLY need therapy in their 60’s for such things, I suppose they are victims. But I am suspecious.
    I doubt the accusations here. However in the 1960’s all too much went on.

  • Goodguyex

    I made the last post, did not use my moniker.

  • Confessoressa

    If an adult female teacher had sex with my son when he was between 13 and 17 years old, you can be damn well sure I would consider it abuse and have her rear kicked right out of the school and do everything in my power to stop her from doing that with any other child.

  • nnmns

    I guess the authorities of the RCC, who almost certainly knew about it soon after it started, took the “Boys will be boys!” point of view about the “boys” who were their colleagues. And perhaps in some cases were themselves.

  • Goodguyex

    Confessoressa writes “If an adult female teacher had sex with my son when he was between 13 and 17 years old, you can be damn well sure I would consider it abuse and have her rear kicked right out of the school and do everything in my power to stop her from doing that with any other child.”
    When such things like this happen between a male teen and an adult woman it seems to be the boy’s mother who wants the most to hang the perp woman. This factoid was generated in movie “Notes on a Scandal”. Maybe there is an anthology here. The female teacher is like a peer to the mother, the one who is most like her. The mother understands the betrayal more than others.
    For me, as a 61 year old male, seeing some of these women teachers talk on TV immediately gives me the thought “poor wretched sick person; a 14 year old in a 30 year old body”!
    Obviously they should not be teaching, but I would be disinclined to insist on serious jail-prison time. But certainly some “help”.

Previous Posts

Former Muslim Wants to See Change   Author and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the National Press Club on April 7th and said there needs to be five amendments to Islam. She said “individuals” within Islam today ...

posted 9:08:12am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical ...

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, ...

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought ...

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption ...

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.