Painful confessions

The allegations of abuse against the Catholic Church and its institutions do not stop. A special investigator at the Ettal monastery reports that some 100 victims of sexual and violent assaults have turned to him for help. The diocese of Regensburg confirmed two suspected cases in the ranks of the boys' choir "Regensburger Domspatzen". The Vatican takes the latest findings very first.

Vatican trusts in "transparent investigations". The Holy See will not intervene in the investigation, a Vatican official in charge told the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on Friday. Holy See takes pedophilia allegations "very seriously," Vatican official said. This is true for Germany as well as for similar events in Ireland or the USA. According to internal information, the Vatican wants to comply with the request of the Ettal monastery for a visitation. However, there is no official answer yet, because the request is still in the business channel, curia circles said.

Investigators: systematic and brutal "Significantly more than ten" spiritual teachers from the Ettal boarding school had turned out to be "systematically and brutally beating teachers," said special investigator Thomas Pfister on Friday. This was made possible by a climate of "hermetic silence and turning a blind eye". However, the crimes are all time-barred, says the Munich lawyer. A monk had also confided in him that he had been sexually abused.Pfister says there are cases of abuse today as well. The principal Wolf Rall, who was present at the press conference, said that nowadays there are only "light head shots". Pfister vehemently contradicted this statement. Children would have turned to him crying and made him understand that it was more than just "light head shots," according to the special investigator. He said he learned from Rall himself that attempts to keep suspicious Fathers away from the lower grades had failed.

Regensburg: Comprehensive clarification sought The diocese of Regensburg is currently trying to find out more details about the suspected cases in the choir. A diocesan spokesman said the church was seeking a comprehensive investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators under criminal and canon law. He also reported the case of a clergyman who decades ago had been sentenced to prison for "indecent acts" against two proteges. The accused had worked as a teacher at the Domspatzen music high school.The abuse affair at the Domspatzen is also explosive because the brother of Pope Benedict XVI., Georg Ratzinger, from 1964 to 1994 director of the choir was. However, Ratzinger said on Friday that he was not aware of any cases of abuse. In an interview with the Bavarian Radio he did not want to take any further position, but referred to the diocese of Regensburg.

Altotting: First consequences Abuse scandal also causes unrest in Altotting. There the pilgrimage custodian Father Felix Kraus resigned on Friday. He thus drew conclusions from incidents at the Burghausen seminary. He takes over "the moral responsibility, because I did not bring these after admitting the abuse cases in Burghausen at that time to the announcement", so Kraus according to a press release of the Bavarian Kapuziner.After the dismissal of the priest accused of abuse, Kraus had taken over the direction of the seminary in Burghausen from him in 1985. Only six years later the offences had been reported to the police, it was said. For reasons of the statute of limitations however no prosecution could take place any longer.

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