Cardinal Rode clears monks of wrongdoing in abuse reporting case

.- The Benedictine abbey in Ettal, Germany has announced that the Vatican has cleared two monks who were asked to resign from their positions over the reporting of a sexual abuse allegation. A personal letter from Cardinal Franc Rodé states that his dicastery has found no reason that the two men could not be re-elected to their former positions.

In February, Archbishop Reinhard Marx of the archdiocese of Munich-Friesing asked  Benedictine Abbott Barnabus Bögle of the Ettal Abbey and Prior Maurus Kraß of the abbey’s school to resign, according to the German paper Die Welt.

Archbishop Marx said that the men had failed to follow archdiocesan guidelines to properly report an incident of sexual abuse that occurred at the school in 2005. The incident pertained to a priest who comforted a crying boy by rubbing his back and massaging him under this t-shirt.

Die Welt also reported that the school had a previous history of abuse problems, though neither Abbot Barnabus nor Prior Maurus were in positions of authority during that time.

In response to the situation, an Apostolic Visitation of the abbey was carried out.

This week, a letter written personally by Cardinal Franc Rode, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, arrived at Ettal Abbey. It cleared the names of the abbot and prior and said that the visitation found “that Abbot Barnabas had done all he was required too” regarding the 2005 case. 

The letter also said that because the two men had willingly renounced their positions, “on the part of this dicastery, nothing stands against the re-election of both.”

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