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231 choirboys abused at Pope’s school in Germany: Lawyer

9 January 2016 10:14


A lawyer in Germany says 231 children suffered physical abuse at a famous boys’ choir school in Germany over a period of roughly 50 years in the past century.

“I have here 231 reports of physical abuse,” Ulrich Weber told a press conference on Friday, reporting on his investigation concerning the Domspatzen school in the city of Regensburg in southeastern Germany.

The abuses, which took place from 1945 to the early 1990s, ranged from sexual assault to rape, severe beatings, and food deprivation, he said.

“The reported cases of sexual abuse in Regensburg were mostly concentrated in the period of the mid to late 1970s,” said the lawyer, who has been commissioned by the diocese of Regensburg to do the investigation.

“Fifty victims spoke of 10 perpetrators,” he added.

Former Pope Benedict’s elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, was the head of the choir from the mid-60s to the mid-90s, while the pontiff spent a five-year term as bishop there from 1977.

Critics have demanded a public explanation from the Pope over “what he knew and what he did about” the mass abuse.

The Roman Catholic Church has been hit by numerous scandals in the United States and Europe in the past few years, involving allegations of covering up sexual abuse of children by priests to protect pedophiles and its own reputation.

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