The attorney, Ulrich Weber, who was commissioned by the Diocese of Regensburg to conduct the inquiry, said that there were fifty credible cases of sexual abuse, along with a larger number of cases of other forms of physical abuse, from beatings to food deprivation.
The developments in Germany raised the question of what the two Ratzinger brothers knew about the abuse in the Regensburg choir.During most of his tenure, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was too busy disciplining anyone who dared step out of line with Church teachings on personal sexuality and family planning to bother with the thousands of priests molesting children.In 2009, a nun named Margaret Mc Bride sat on the ethics committee of a Phoenix hospital that had to decide the case of a pregnant woman whose doctors believed that she (and her fetus) would die if they did not terminate her pregnancy.* The committee voted to allow an abortion, and the woman’s life was saved.And the zero-tolerance policy that led to the systematic defrocking of abusive priests happened only after the Ratzinger understood better than most, if late, that priestly abuse was the negation of everything the Church was supposed to stand for.But, for much of his career, his focus and priorities were elsewhere.
In the early nineties, a monk who worked at the Vatican told me, "You wouldn't believe the amounts of money the church is spending to settle these priestly sexual-abuse cases." He was not exaggerating. These financial settlements were reached largely to keep the victims quiet: in almost all cases, the documents were sealed and the victims signed a non-disclosure agreement.