Re­port counts 547 choir­boys as abused

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

BER­LIN — At least 547 mem­bers of a pres­ti­gious Catholic boys choir in Ger­many were phys­i­cally or sex­u­ally abused be­tween 1945 and 1992, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased Tues­day.

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 cler­gy­men in Ger­many that emerged in 2010. In 2015, lawyer Ul­rich We­ber was au­tho­rized to pro­duce a re­port on what hap­pened.

The re­port said 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 49 per­pe­tra­tors.

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

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.

Cur­rent Bishop Rudolf Voder­holzer al­ready has an­nounced plans to of­fer vic­tims com­pen­sa­tion of be­tween $5,730 and $22,930 each by the end of this year.

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