• Germany's news in English

Pope Benedict's birthplace vandalised

AFP/DDP/The Local · 13 Apr 2010, 12:25

Published: 13 Apr 2010 12:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A police spokesperson said the words daubed on the house were of “insulting content,” adding that they referred to the child abuse affair that has rocked the Church in Germany in recent months.

Police refused to reveal the exact words painted on the building in blue, which a passerby noticed on Tuesday morning. The words were quickly covered over.

Pope Benedict was born as Joseph Ratzinger on April 16, 1927 in the small community in Upper Bavaria. Tuesday’s incident is the second time his place of birth has been vandalised. During a visit to Bavaria in September 2006 two balloons of blue paint were thrown at the house.

In July 2007 a bust of the pope outside the Traunstein parish church – where he conducted his first mass in 1951 – was covered in red paint.

Germany’s Catholic Church has been embroiled in a crisis over recent weeks as victims of widespread sexual and physical abuse continue to come forward. Most cases date back by several years, a fact that has politicians debating a possible extension to the statute of limitations on such crimes.

Similar accusations have also surfaced in the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, while Ireland has been rocked by revelations about cover-up efforts by the head of the Church there in the 1970s.

The Vatican has said it received 3,000 reports between 2001 and 2010 of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy committed over the past 50 years.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile the pope himself has been drawn into the scandal. In late March the Vatican dismissed fresh allegations that he failed to bar the transfer of a known paedophile priest while he was the archbishop of Munich.

The case followed another accusation according to which Ratzinger failed to act over an American priest accused of molesting up to 200 deaf children between 1950 and 1974.

AFP/DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:40 April 13, 2010 by Beynch
Is this how one expresses one's discontent in today's Germany? Destroying and vandalizing? Whatever happened to democracy? Voting. Writing letters to our elected officials. Contacting the media. Were I to guess, the responsibility for this vandalism lies with anarchist left.
13:46 April 13, 2010 by dbert4
@Beynch - you want to vote the pope out? Cool idea except, he wasn't democratically elected by you or ANY elected officals.

But knock yourself out, keep those cards and letters coming!
15:15 April 13, 2010 by William Thirteen
the last time the Vandals made it all the way to Rome was in 455!
19:43 April 13, 2010 by Celeon
I have to agree with William Thirteen. Dont underestimate the Vandals !

More than 1000 years may have passed since they went down there to sort out their differences with Rome but WHEN they were there they pillaged, raped, stole whatever wasn't heavy enough to be left in place and burned the whole damn city down afterwards. :-D
00:50 April 14, 2010 by wxman
We've seen several comments digging at this Pope's character. Why haven't we also mentioned he was a member of the Hitlerjugend? Certainly we could go after him for that, nicht var?
01:41 April 14, 2010 by wenddiver
I like the Pope, we should have had a German Pope 500 years ago, in Martin Luther's time.

Vandalism like other forms of terrorism, make ones own cause look stupid. I agree with Keydeck, cripple the spray painters.
13:03 April 14, 2010 by William Thirteen
oh vandalism is terrorism now? talk about feature creep!
21:53 April 14, 2010 by wenddiver
@Toko- I don't think it was the soldiering that got the SS into trouble. It was the non-combat activities that made them periahas. Suggest everybody look up "Malmedy". I don't rember the name but there is a village in France where the SS killed the men and burned the women and children in a church and it is still preserved as they left it.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd