A new report by the by a Germany law firm has implicated former Pope Benedict XVI in child abuse cases when he an archbishop.
The pope emeritus served as an archbishop between 1977-1982 in Munich and was then known as Josef Ratzinger.
According to the probe into the Catholic church by the law firm, pope Benedict failed to act on four child abuse cases.
The report says that abuse continued under the retired pope’s tenure and the accused priests continued to participate in church duties actively.
“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,”Westpfahl Spilker Wastl lawyer Martin Pusch said in the report.
In one of the mentioned cases, it is alleged that the 94-year old was aware of a priest who had been accused of sexually abusing boys and was transferred to his diocese but the priest continued with his usual pastoral duties.
The pope emeritus however denied the allegations. He submitted his response to the questioning by the law firm in dozens of pages where he supported the inquiry but denied any knowledge or lack of action around the abuse allegations.
The law firm however has proof of minutes to show that the former pope was at the meeting when the matter was being discussed.
Through a statement, The Vatican said that it would look at the details of the report once it has been published.
“As we reiterate the sense of shame and regret for the abuses on minors by priests, the Holy See expresses its support for all victims and it confirms the path to protect minors, guaranteed safe spaces for them,” read the statement.
Benedict retired in 2013 citing exhaustion and since then he has been living a very quiet life in the Vatican City.