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Rome Reports

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Regensburg diocese proves physical and sexual abuse to choral children between 1953-1992

The Regensburg Cathedral Choir (Regensburger Domspatzen) is one of the most prestigious in the world. From 1964 to 1994, it was led by Georg Ratzinger, Pope Benedict's brother.

However, from 1953 to 1992 the choir members with these celestial voices suffered a sort of hell. Five hundred and forty-seven children suffered violence, such as beatings and insults, and 67 experienced sexual abuse. These crimes were committed by a total of 49 offenders, who have been identified, but most of them have died.

In 2010, the first allegations against former teachers and priests from the choir school arrived in Regensburg. The then-bishop Gerhard Muller says that he did launch an investigation, although the report revealing the data is the one from 2016. This one was initiated by lawyer Ulrich Weber at the order of the new bishop, Rudolf Voderholzer.

The lawyer has documented the violence that was reported. He says that the former director, Georg Ratzinger might not have been aware of the sexual abuse, but that he probably knew about the mistreatment and did not say anything.

As for the victims, the mere fact that the truth is being revealed is already a great consolation.