Former archbishop of Munich apologizes for misconduct

Dhe former Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, has apologized for wrong decisions in connection with cases of abuse during his tenure from 1982 to 2007. At the same time, he rejected the representation in the abuse report published last Thursday by the law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) that he had behaved incorrectly in 21 cases. “My presentation of the facts” comes “to a different conclusion,” says a statement published on Tuesday.

Above all, Wetter refers to the case of the Essen priest H., in which, according to reports, the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. is entangled. According to Cardinal Wetter, this case is “particularly serious in relation to others”. The decision to send H. to a parish in Garching an der Alz under strict supervision “was without a doubt objectively wrong”. Wetter also admitted that he had not had a “serious and detailed examination” of the subject of child abuse and the consequences for those affected before the first abuse report was published in 2010.

Of course, sexual abuse of children was punishable and morally unacceptable in the 1980s and 1990s. “To be honest, I have to say that before 2010 I didn’t have enough knowledge and my awareness of the problem wasn’t sufficiently developed.” This was the case at the time “for many in society” and not just in the church. However, this does not make his “inappropriate and objectively wrong behavior” any better, Wetter writes.

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He was “at least in the case of H.” his responsibility as Archbishop of Munich and Freising “to protect children and young people not done to the necessary extent”, this fills him “with shame and sadness”, says Wetter. In his statement he goes into the 21 cases of misconduct he is accused of. In six of these cases there was “no abuse”, in eight cases the abuse did not occur during his term of office or within his area of ​​responsibility.

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