Gänswein said: “Benedict XVI did not have access until this afternoon to the report of the law firm Westpfahl-Spilker-Wastl, which has more than 1,000 pages. In the coming days, he will examine the text with the necessary attention.”
“The pope emeritus, as he has already repeated several times during the years of his pontificate, expresses his shock and shame at the abuse of minors committed by clerics, and expresses his personal closeness and prayer for all the victims, some of whom he has met on the occasion of his apostolic journeys.”
Lawyer Martin Pusch, an author of the report, said at a press conference on Thursday that investigators had faulted the actions of Benedict XVI, who was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he led the Munich archdiocese.
“In a total of four cases, we concluded that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger, can be accused of misconduct,” he said.
Pusch noted that in two of the cases, clerics committed abuse while Ratzinger was in office. While they were criminally sanctioned by secular courts, they continued to perform pastoral duties, he said, and no action was taken against them under canon law.
In a third case, a cleric convicted by a foreign court worked in the Munich archdiocese. Pusch suggested that Ratzinger knew of the priest’s history.