The report argues that:
The expert report also charges Benedict XVI with misbehavior in three other cases. In fact, even in these cases he would have known that the priests were abusers.
This does not correspond to the truth, according to our verifications, in fact: In none of the cases analyzed by the expert report was Joseph Ratzinger aware of sexual abuse committed or suspicion of sexual abuse committed by priests. The expert report provides no evidence to the contrary.
Regarding the case of the Priest X. that was publicly discussed in the meeting of the Ordinariate in 1980 regarding the accommodation to be given to him for therapy, the same expert - in the press conference of 20.01.2022 on the occasion of the presentation of the abuse report - stated that there is no evidence that Joseph Ratzinger was aware of it. To the subsequent question of a journalist whether the experts were able to prove that Joseph Ratzinger had been aware that Priest X. had committed sexual abuse, the expert clearly stated that there is no evidence that Joseph Ratzinger had knowledge. Only in the subjective opinion of the expert witnesses would it be "more likely".
The press conference is available at the following link: https://vimeo.com/668314410
At minute 2:03:46 the journalist's question can be found: "My question also still refers to the case of Priest X. Can the law firm prove that Cardinal Ratzinger was then aware that Priest X. was an abuser? What does 'most likely' mean in this context?" [...]
An expert responds, "[...] More likely means that we assume it with a higher probability. [...]".
The expert report contains no evidence for an allegation of misconduct or conspiracy in any cover up.
As an archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger was not involved in any cover-up of acts of abuse.
The report alleges that:
In his memoir, Benedict XVI allegedly downplayed acts of exhibitionism. As evidence for this assertion the following indication contained in the memoir is reported: "Parish priest X. was noted as an exhibitionist, but not as an abuser in the proper sense".
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This does not correspond to the truth, in fact:
In his memoir Benedict XVI did not minimize the exhibitionist behavior, but expressly condemned it. The phrase used as alleged evidence of minimizing exhibitionism is taken out of context.
In the memoir, in fact, Benedict XVI says with the utmost clarity that abuses, including exhibitionism, are "terrible", "sinful", "morally reprehensible" and "irreparable". In the canonical evaluation of the event, inserted into the memoir by us the collaborators and expressed according to our judgment, there was only a desire to recall that according to the canon law then in force, exhibitionism was not a crime in the restricted sense, because the relevant penal norm did not include in the case in point behavior of that type.
Thus, the memoir of Benedict XVI did not minimize exhibitionism, but clearly and explicitly condemned it.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Mückl - Rome (Canon Law)
Prof. em. Dr. Mag. Helmuth Pree - Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Canon Law)