• Germany's news in English

Vatican denies pope failed to stop paedophile

AFP/The Local · 26 Mar 2010, 19:05

Published: 26 Mar 2010 19:05 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The then archbishop had no knowledge of the decision to reassign (Reverend Peter Hullerman) to pastoral activities in a parish," the Vatican said in a statement, adding that it "rejects any other version of events as mere speculation."

Hullerman was suspended from his duties in the northern German town of Essen in late 1979 over allegations that he abused an 11-year-old boy. Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, who is now the pope, led a meeting approving Hullerman's transfer to Munich the following January despite a memo warning that the priest was a potential "danger," the Times reported on Friday.

Six years later, in 1986, Hullerman was found guilty of molesting boys in another Bavarian parish.

"The article in The New York Times contains no new information beyond that which the archdiocese has already communicated concerning the then archbishop's knowledge of the situation of Father H.," the Vatican said.

The Munich archdiocese issued a statement on March 12 confirming that Benedict "took part" in the decision to transfer Hullerman, while former vicar-general Gerhard Gruber took "all responsibility" for the move.

"The repeated employment of H. in priestly spiritual duties was a bad mistake. I assume all responsibility," Gruber said in the statement.

New allegations of child sex abuse against Hullerman emerged this week dating both from his time in Essen and from 1998 in a different southern town.

Story continues below…

In 1980, Ratzinger "was in a position to refer the priest for prosecution, or at least to stop him from coming into contact with children," the Times wrote. Despite the warning signs "Father Hullerman went from disgrace and suspension from his duties in Essen to working without restrictions as a priest in Munich," it added.

The case comes on the heels of another New York Times accusation on Thursday according to which Ratzinger failed to act over an American priest accused of molesting up to 200 deaf children between 1950 and 1974.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:57 March 26, 2010 by rosenthalenglish
Congratulations to The Local for actually printing what the Vatican said.Now when will the German & World Media start tackling the scandal of 60,000-70,000 German Children sexually abused in their families every year?(Source-Lead editorial Allgäuer Zeitung 25th March 2010)
22:41 March 26, 2010 by dbert4
In the words of the Republican cretin, Joe Wilson, "You Lie"!
00:30 March 27, 2010 by dcgi
Photo looks like the pope is doing a cosplay of himself :)
07:14 March 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It's time for the catholic church to be officially designated a criminal enterprise and to have all of its holdings seized, just like any other mafia organization.
12:38 March 27, 2010 by twisted
If the Vatican is telling the truth, then it should be prepared to open its files to some sort of independent commission to verify that that the true is indeed being told. Anything less is a cover up.
16:57 March 27, 2010 by peschvogel
This guy is corrput. Papst wont last too long in Rome. He will be voted out once the documentation and facts are released.
17:27 March 27, 2010 by Johnny Cash
Pity this Pope kind of looks like the Hollywood popular image of the antichrist.Maybe some plastic surgery might enhance his image.
18:08 March 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
@ peschvogel:

And who is going to "vote him out?" In case you've missed the news, the catholic church isn't exactly a democracy.

I've got to hand it to you, blackbird -- you seem to have an inexhaustible supply of inanities to contribute.
01:09 March 28, 2010 by peschvogel
Once they find the "paperwork" on his "work" in Munchen, its over. They can tell him to step down via a papal committe. Its been done before and I am sure once they find the papers on yet, another German criminal, they will tel him "los geht's". But in a nicer Italian accent.. Raus!
10:10 March 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Dream on, peschvogel. When's the last time "it's been done before" and who are the "they" who will tell him to get lost? The catholic church is a dictatorship and

il Papa is the dictator, deemed "infallible" by his "flock" (a strikingly apt metaphor). Not even Opus Dei could force this evildoer to step down. Legally, that is.

Maybe you should run for pope. You seem to have all the qualifications.
19:30 March 28, 2010 by peschvogel
You mean, "phallic" by boys "cock". He can be defrocked just like all Cardinals and Priests. Pope's can be forced to resign (e.g. Gregory XII). From what i hear the scandal is worse in Germany now. Getting paperwork on this guy when he was in Munich should be no problem since everyone watches everyone and everyone documents everyone. First his youth ss saga and now this? C'mon, you dont think the church will stand up for this crap? Papst will be forced to resign...Watch...
02:03 March 29, 2010 by janreg58
So I suppose that this is the first time that a Catholic priest has molested a child? What about all the other Popes, they should of been questioned and told to step down too! Oh but I forgot, this is a GERMAN Pope, so lets burn him at the stake, for just BEING GERMAN AND an ex(so called) German criminal! When is the witch hunt going to stop!
05:04 March 29, 2010 by peschvogel
No, burn him for being an abuser. German, Polish, Italian, doesnt matter. What you fail to see, like most of your carefree society over there in Germany, is that this man oversaw a Munich parish that committed crimes against boys. Or is that how you keep your German men to become wimps. Have priests rape them? Schwul jungs

Thats why all your German men are like little birds. Because they eat bird seed and are fondled by priests and mothers who play with boys because they get no action from their man...Schade...
20:38 March 29, 2010 by xredfoxx
Dumb catholics.
03:03 March 30, 2010 by janreg58
Hey peschvogel, where are you from? I'm married to a German, and let me tell you, he's no little bird! Haven't you heard? Germany was voted the most ACTIVE country in Europe, if you get my drift. They beat out France!. No matter what religion or race, it's wrong. But let those without sin, throw the first stone..if you know what I mean.
16:04 April 8, 2010 by josephjohnson1
We must remember to make the distinction between the Church, which was founded by Jesus, and its members. The Catholic Church and its teachings are holy, because they come from God Himself. On the other hand, its disciples, being human, are frail and faulty, and some worse than others.

In other words, we must make the distinction between the Church and its members. We should remember that Judas the betrayer was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. There will always be betrayers in Christ's Church, but this does not change the fact that it is the Church founded and guided by God.

For those interested, here is a great article about what Jesus told St Gemma concerning the Priesthood:


Joseph Johnson
20:17 September 24, 2010 by kathaksung
634. Pope and Roman Catholic under attack (5/5/2010)

Here are some excerpts from news articles of San Jose Mercury News in recent weeks.

"Sex abuse scandal taints Palm Sunday services

....Cardinal Sean Brady.... as a youthful priest 35 years ago, had two boys sign papers not to reveal scandal. "The inquiry had the effect of shielding and prolonging the career of a priest who was exposed 15 years later as the most notorious child-abuser in the history of Irish church. But the Vatican has been buffeted by recent disclosures of inaction as well."

(New York Times, 3/30/2010)

"AP: Abuse case delayed for years

Vatican waited 12 years to defrock Arizona priest" (A.P. 4/3/2010)

"Vatican defends pope, criticizes New York Times

... an article describing failed efforts by Wisconsin church officials to persuade the Vatican to defrock a priest who had abused as many as 200 deaf boys from 1950 to 1974. The pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was head of the Vatican?s doctrinal office when the case was referred there in 1996." (New York Times, 4/2/2010)

"Pope delayed defrocking

A former East Bay priest with a long record of sexually abusing children remained in the clergy for years while then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, bucked pleas from the from the Oakland Diocese to defrock him in the 1980s, according to an A.P. report citing church documents." (jsimerman@bayareanewsgroup.com , 4/10/2010)

"Pope's link to '90s Austrian abuse case under scrutiny" (New York Times, 4/27/2010)

"News of abusive priest hit Vatican year earlier

Rome was warned of molester in '95, not '96 as claimed" (A.P. 4/23/2010)

What do you learn from these news?

1. The cases mostly took place in '80s and '90s, some even were 50 years ago.

2. Most reports target at Benedict XVI when he was a Cardinal.

3. All these news appear in later March and April. It is exactly what Vatican called as a "campaign of attacks on the pope and the church.

What is the purpose of this propaganda campaign? Since this January, the Inside group works hard to frame a drug case and then to start the war on Iran. The war effort was especially active in April. As a leader of Catholic, Pope Benedict XVI is against war. Then we saw this campaign. It lowers the moral image of the Pope. Once the war starts, his anti-war voice would be weakened. How can Vatican criticize others when its own profile is tainted?

Media played important role in propaganda for the Iraq war. Now it beats the drum again for another war.
Today's headlines
German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd