The Vatican released a letter from the former Pope Benedict XVI wherein he asked for forgiveness for any “grievous fault.” In the same letter, any personal wrongdoing was denied.
This was on the heels of a German report into the Catholic church, which raised allegations that didn’t act on multiple cases of child sex abuse.
At the time, Pope Benedict XVI was known as Josef Ratzinger. He served as archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.
According to the German law firm, abuse allegedly continued under his tenure. Priests that been accused of abuse were active in their church roles still.
“I have had great responsibilities in the Catholic Church,” the Pope Emeritus said in his personal response. “All the greater is my pain for the abuses and the errors that occurred in those different places during the time of my mandate.”
He went on to describe the actions done to the victims as a “most grievous fault.”
Before the report’s release in January, the former pontiff denied attending a 1980 meeting on sexual abuse cases as Munich’s archbishop. After the report came out, he admitted to being in attendance.
According to Archbishop Georg Ganswein, his then-personal secretary, the omission was an oversight during editing of the statement then. Pope Benedict mentioned this in his letter, sharing that the was deeply hurt by the oversight being a tool for “[casting] doubt on my truthfulness, and even to label me a liar.”
Photo: Il Riformista