Report counts 547 choirboys as abused
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.