Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, hid a violent child abusing priest from the police. After some years the priests continued his criminal activities.
Not long after a portly, jovial priest in the German industrial city of Essen was accused of sexually abusing three boys in 1979, he was offered a new home in Munich by Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI.
Ratzinger, who was Archbishop of Munich and Freising at the time, wanted Father Peter Hullermann —known to friends in the church as «Hulli»— to undergo psychotherapy.
A psychiatrist quickly concluded that Hullermann was untreatable. «I told the church officials that Hullermann must never be allowed to work with children again», said Werner Huth, the psychiatrist.
«He did not seem to want or be able to co-operate fully during the therapy. He had an alcohol problem and the assaults on the children mostly happened when he had been under the influence of alcohol», he added.
Huth’s warning was ignored. The priest was allowed to return to pastoral work and then to teach religion in a local state school. Soon, he was in trouble again. He drank, showed pornographic videos to boys and abused them. He was convicted of the sexual abuse of minors and fined.
Even that was not the end of his time in the church. After a period of probation he continued working — with altar boys, among others.
He was still working as a priest right up until last Monday when, at the age of 62, he was suspended from his duties at a Bavarian tourist resort for breaching a church order in 2008 to avoid any involvement with children.
This unholy saga, reflecting both the severity of clerical abuse and the failure to stop it, goes to the heart of the gravest crisis the Roman Catholic church has faced since the wartime Pope Pius XII was accused of responding inadequately to the Holocaust.
It also raises questions about Pope Benedict’s responses to mounting allegations of paedophilia in the church. According to a report in Der Spiegel, the German magazine, Benedict knew about the allegations against Hullermann in 1980 but chose not to report them to the police.
Source: The Times of India
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