German abuse victim demands €350,000 from archdiocese and former pope

Picture by Reuters

A German abuse victim is demanding a total of €350,000 ($375,000) from the Catholic Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and the heirs of the late pope Benedict XVI, the man’s lawyer, Andreas Schulz, confirmed to dpa.

At a hearing in a regional court in Bavaria, the plaintiff is demanding €300,000 from the archdiocese and €50,000 in damages from the heirs of the pope emeritus who died on New Year’s Eve.

The man claims to have been abused by a convicted repeat offender, identified only by his initial H, in the rectory in Garching an der Alz, Upper Bavaria, almost 30 years ago.

According to the claim, the plaintiff should be compensated for “all material and non-material damages” which he “suffered as a result of the act of abuse in the period between 1994 and 1996 and will suffer in the future.”

He accused Benedict XVI, the former cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, of helping to ensure that the convicted priest was reinstated in a parish in 1986. This had made it possible for him to abuse the current plaintiff, according to the legal argument.

The archdiocese had not invoked the statute of limitations in the proceedings, thus clearing the way for a trial.

“The archdiocese is prepared to pay appropriate compensation for pain and suffering in recognition of the plaintiff’s suffering and to find an appropriate solution for claims for damages beyond that,” it said.

The trial is scheduled to begin on June 20 at the Traunstein Regional Court.


Courtesy of dpa