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article imageGerman diocese to examine choir abuse charges

By Elliot Meszaros     Mar 11, 2010 in Crime
Berlin - Two major abuse investigations have been announced by Catholic authorities in Germany today. One of these investigations is focusing into the Dornspatzen boy's choir and the other into the sexual and physical abuse of 170 students at catholic schools.
An independent investigator has been appointed to look into the allegations of sexual and physical abuse that surrounds the Regensburger Dornspatzen boy’s choir, according to the Roman Catholic diocese of Regensburg in southern Germany.
The choir was led by the pope's older brother, Rev. Georg Ratzinger, during a 30 year period from 1964 to 1994. At present the allegations are focused before Ratzinger's time as leader.
Jacob Schoetz, the diocese's spokesman, stated that the person appointed to lead the inquiry was Andreas Scheulen, a Nuremburg lawyer, who will investigate all charges in detail.
“The independent lawyer will thoroughly go through all existing legal papers, all court decisions and any information available,” Schoetz said. “We expect to publish first results within the next two weeks.”
The second investigation that authorities announced also orientated around what the Pope, and everyone, else knew about the abuse of these students many decades ago.
Additionally, the German Bishop's Conference said it would look into a plethora of charges all over the country including allegations of sexual abuse within the choir. They will also look into the knowledge that Pope Benedict XVI himself had of the incidents while in his previous position as the archbishop of Munich, stated prelate Karl Juesten to the Associated Press.
“We do not know if the pope knew about the abuse cases at the time,” Juesten said. “However, we assume that this is not the case.”
These questions will "certainly [be] investigat(ed)", said Munich Archbishop Reinhard Marx.
Juesten, the liaison between the German government and Roman Catholic bishops, said that it was an act of courage and a "wonderful sign" that Ratzinger said sorry to victims on Tuesday. The pope's brother admitted that he was told by students of physical abuse in Germany and did nothing about it. He then apologised for his inaction decades ago in protecting the students from harm.
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