Joseph Ratzinger. Photo: Reuters Via CNS

Germany: Judicial Process Against Benedict XVI Is Suspended

The suspension is due to the fact that Benedict XVI has died and his legal successor is yet to be determined.

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Joachin Meisner Hertz

(ZENIT News / Traunstein, 18.01.2023).- On Tuesday, January 17, a spokesman of the Traunstein Regional Court in Bavaria announced that the provisional form of the process was being suspended by which Benedict XVI would be asked for a statement given the complaint of a man who at present is 38 years old and who says he suffered abuses, when he was a child, by the deceased priest Peter Hullermann. The suspension is due to the fact that Benedict XVI has died and his legal successor must be determined. For this reason, the lawyers who were defending the Pope Emeritus requested and obtained the suspension. The accusation of the 38-year-old man is that Benedict XVI covered up the abuse case.

The alleged victim says he suffered abuses between 1970 and 1980. Benedict XVI was being accuses of covering up the case because, according to the victim, instead of handing the aggressor over to the police, he was moved to other parishes. 

Almost a year ago, the Editorial Director of ZENIT Agency analyzed this case (which can be read in full under the title “Benedict XVI Responds and Contradicts Himself (according to the media): The New and False Controversy that Fuels the Ratzinger Case”), which in essence states the following:

“The then Archbishop of Munich, Joseph Ratzinger, authorized Peter Hullermann to reside in his diocese’s territory but <as> a priestly convict and exclusively to receive therapy. After his appointment in November 1981 as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger resigned from the Munich See and went to Rome in February 1982. During the period of the sede vacante (namely when Joseph Ratzinger’s substitute for Munich was yet to be appointed), the Vicar for the Archdiocese, Father Gerhard Gruber, was the one to give license to Hullermann to exercise his ministry in a parish. In 1985 there were new complaints against Hullermann (that is, when Joseph Ratzinger was no longer in Munich) and he was removed from priestly ministry. In June of 1986 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and released on parole for the abuse of minors and given a fine of 4,000 marks.”

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