Pope Benedict XVI knew of abusive priests when he ran Munich archdiocese, investigators say

“He was informed about the facts,” lawyer Martin Pusch said in Munich as part of a panel announcing the investigation findings.

“We believe that he can be accused of misconduct in four cases,” Pusch said. “Two of these cases concern abuses committed during his tenure and sanctioned by the state. In both cases, the perpetrators remained active in pastoral care.

Benedict continues to deny the allegations, lawyers at Westpfahl Spilker Wastl law firm said Thursday, as they unveiled the findings of their inquest into historic sexual abuse at the Munich Archdiocese over several decades.

But the findings are a damning judgment on the former Pope, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, which follows years of speculation about how much he knew.

“During his time in office there were abuse cases happening,” Pusch said, referring to Benedict. “In those cases those priests continued their work without sanctions. The church did not do anything.

“He claims that he didn’t know about certain facts, although we believe that this is not so, according to what we know,” Pusch said.

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