Ulrich Weber Releases Report on an Elite Pedophile Ring Where 547+ Members of a German Catholic Boys’ Choir were Physically or Sexually Abused from 1945-92

At least 547 members of a prestigious Catholic boys’ choir in Germany were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 1992, according to Weber’s report. Allegations involving the Domspatzen choir in Regensburg, which was run for 30 years by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI’s elder brother, were among a spate of revelations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany that emerged in 2010. In 2015, lawyer Ulrich Weber was tasked with producing a report on what happened. The report was released on July 18th, 2017.

The report said that 547 boys at the Domspatzen’s school “with a high degree of plausibility” were victims of physical or sexual abuse, or both. It counted 500 cases of physical violence and 67 of sexual violence, committed by a total of 49 perpetrators. 40 minors were raped, as the lawyer told BBC Mundo. About fifty children had told the names of ten choir leaders, most of whom had already died. The crimes, however, were time barred, meaning that they would not have been convicted anyway.

At the choir’s pre-school, “violence, fear and helplessness dominated” and “violence was an everyday method,” it said.

“The whole system of education was oriented toward top musical achievements and the choir’s success,” the report said. “Alongside individual motives, institutional motives — namely, breaking the will of the children with the aim of maximum discipline and dedication — formed the basis for violence.”

The report’s authors said that they checked the plausibility of 591 potential victims’ cases.

The choir was led from 1964 to 1994 by Benedict’s brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger.

Ratzinger has acknowledged slapping pupils after he took over the choir, though such punishments were commonplace in Germany at that time. He also said he was aware of allegations of physical abuse at the elementary school and did nothing about it, but he was not aware of sexual abuse.

The report faulted Ratzinger “in particular for ‘looking away’ or for failing to intervene.”

It also cited criticism by victims of the Regensburg diocese’s initial efforts to investigate past abuse. It said that the bishop at the time the allegations surfaced, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, bears “clear responsibility for the strategic, organizational and communicative weaknesses” of those efforts.

Cardinal Mueller became the head of the Vatican’s doctrine office in 2012. Pope Francis recently removed him from that job. Current Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer has already announced plans to offer victims compensation of between 5,000 and 20,000 euros ($5,730 and $22,930) each by the end of this year.

In 2010, then-bishop of Regensburg, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith until 1 July 2017 admitted the existence of the abuses in the German choir. The former prefect was accused by Marie Collins, a resigning member of the Pontifical Commission for Protection of the minors and victim herself in the past, of having done little to fight pedophilia in the Vatican, and even going to the extent of hindering the work Pope Francis’ team. And even on this story, Müller had been accused of poor management, despite publicly admitting the crimes seven years ago. He did however point out that the episodes of violence did not coincide with the period of master Ratzinger’s assignment, director of the ensemble from 1964 to 1993.

For his part, Mgr. Georg pointed out that he was unaware of episodes of sexual violence, although in an interview with the Bavarian conservative newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, he stated that some boys had told him about some strange episodes that took place in the training school which, however, did not induce him to think he had to intervene in some way, “If I had been aware of the excessive violence used, I would have done something.”  

Ratzinger, however, asked forgiveness for having given a slap or having pulled some of the boys’ ears stressing that back in the 1970s, it was custom – even in schools – to slap pupils to obtain “discipline and rigor”, necessary requirements to reach a higher musical and artistic level. He himself said that he had received a couple when he was a little boy. He then assured that he had never caused bruises or injuries to anyone and confided feeling relieved when physical punishment was banned by law in the early 1980s.

Weber had questioned Benedict XVI’s brother’ statements: “I believe he is not telling the whole truth,” he said. Today at the press conference, he accused him of “co-responsibility” because – he said – “he pretended not to see or otherwise failed to intervene.”  

Anyway, Georg Ratzinger is not the main accused in this horrible story. The report shows the name of Johan Meier, director of the school adjacent to the choir (whose supervisory board included also Ratzinger) between 1953 and 1992. He died shortly after retirement in still mysterious circumstances. The investigation revealed that Meier was the main perpetrator of the abuses. Witnesses reported stools being launched against students – once he had broken one on a child’s shoulder – or the habit of bringing two or three children, usually between 8 and 9, to his room, offer them alcohol and then punish them.

The diocese of Regensburg – who last year admitted in a statement that 72 former students of the famous choir had been beaten so violently they had suffered bodily injuries – offered each a 2550 euros economic compensation. The diocesan spokesman Clemens Neck assured full collaboration with lawyer Weber, whose conversations with the victims were vitally important. The diocese also reiterated that the investigation would continue autonomously and that only the final report would be decisive. That final report was published today and shows the most horrible face of the choir that, with over a thousand years of history, is probably the oldest in the world.

Sources:

Get involved!

Get Connected!

Join our community and get uncensored news, history, and social media. Expand your network and get to know more like-minded patriots and truthseekers!

Comments

No comments yet