On December 3, Deutsche Welle printed a story about an investigation into child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. It revealed a massive cover-up that’s been going on, at least, since 1945.
The lawyer heading up the investigation, Marion Westpfahl, said at a press conference on Friday that the available records pointed to huge gaps in the documentation between 1945 and 2009. She added this hinted strongly at a “systematic system of cover-up,” in which few abuse cases were criminally prosecuted.
“Only 26 priests were convicted for sexual offences,” Westpfahl explained to reporters, saying she found 365 files containing evidence that “acts of abuse had taken place in an almost commonplace manner. … We have to assume that there is a large unknown number [of abuse cases],” she said. “We are dealing with the extensive destruction of files.”
In the 13,200 files available, Westpfahl found evidence damning “159 priests, 15 deacons, 96 religion teachers and six pastoral employees, with rural areas particularly affected.” Those, of course, are only the obvious ones.
During the period from 1977 to 1982, this archdiocese was in the charge of then Archbishop Josef Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, CEO of the world’s largest child rape organization, known as the Catholic church. According to Westpfahl, the years under Ratzinger were especially poorly documented.