March 26th, 2010
08:46 AM ET

German archdiocese disputes pope story

The Catholic archdiocese in Munich, Germany, strongly denied a report Friday that said Pope Benedict XVI was aware that a priest convicted of abusing minors had returned to pastoral work.

A spokesman for the archdiocese, Bernhard Kellner, said the article published in The New York Times consists of incorrect and old information.

The article said the pope, who was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and archbishop in Munich, was copied on a memo informing him that the priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, would return to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment for pedophilia.

Kellner said between 700 and 1,000 memos go to the archbishop each year, making it highly unlikely that Ratzinger would have read the memo mentioned in the Times. Kellner said neither he nor the Times has the memo, and he doesn't know whether it still exists.

- CNN's Frederik Pleitgen contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Germany • Vatican • World
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Terry - Indiana

    So when the President of United States has all of these people keeping him informed about everything happening in the world, are you going to tell me that the pope and all of the US Bishops knew nothing about abuse of young men by Catholic priests. I will remind you that the Catholic Church is the richest, largest land holder, in the entire world. With all of that money, they have got to have an Intelligence Department at the Vatican. Are you telling me they do not read newspapers, or watch International News, or have meetings with members of the U.S. State Department. Catholics should be fighting mad, but maybe Catholics are just waiting for the church to pay them off. Here father, abuse my son and send your check to my bank account. Who are Catholics trying to kid? If this happened in the Muslim World, I think the faithful would step forward to be counted. We are running out of religions that God has blessed!

    March 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jack in Ohio

    I am an American, and I'm proud I'm not a christian, let alone a Catholic.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mary Ann

    Yea, I bet they said that when Judas and Peter betrayed Christ. Yep, I would have been complicit in Jesus' actions of going against the Sanhedrin.

    March 31, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Darah

    Have we learned nothing from Father Oliver O'grady? He degraded hundreds of children for decades and the church covered it up, moved him to new locations, never repremanded him or anything of the sort. He is a free man simply because the church did nothing to stop him. Instead, they helped him prevail fully aware of the fact that he was abusing children. I'm sure this is no exception.

    March 31, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Krzysztof

    First Pope: "The time has come for the judgment to begin: it is beginning with God's own household.And if it is starting with you, how will it end for those who refuse to obey the gospel fo God" (1Pet 4:17)-The New English Bible with Apocrypha,1970

    Is the world illiterate?

    April 2, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
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