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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Pope's brother apologises for administering corporal punishment

Ratzinger: Papstbruder entschuldigt sich fuer Ohrfeigen - Missbrauchsskandal - FOCUS Online

The former head of the Regensburg Cathedral choir, the Pope's brother Georg Ratzinger has apologised for abuses during his tenure. And he admits that he has boxed pupils around the ears.

He has repeatedly slapped pupils during rehearsals "but almost always with a bad conscience" had, "said Ratzinger, the" Passauer Neue Presse newspaper on Tuesday. The slaps had been "simply the way of reacting to failures or deliberate refusal perform well." Some educators used a "certain roughness" in those days. But he was relieved when in 1980 corporal punishment was prohibited by the legislature. "I have conformed to this ban most strictly." It was a "good development that the renunciation of slapping was based on a through knowledge."

He was aware that the then director had often dealt out very violent blows for a trivial cause, "said Ratzinger. Students had told him on concert tours what had happened to them. "But their reports have not been made to me in such a way, that I thought I ought to do something." He himself at that time had no options of intervening. The boarding school was an independent institution. The director had gone into retirement in1992 because of public criticism of his teaching methods. "Today, of course, judges totally different," said the 86-year-old, who from 1964 to 1994 was on the staff of the cathedral of Regensburg. Any brutal approach to law is perceived as horrible. "If I had known how excessively violent he was, then I would have said something at that time." He condemned what had happened and asked the victims for forgiveness

The newly reported cases of sexual abuse in the famous choir "had never been discussed". There had been silence, but not just in the church. " society in general was like that." Ratzinger affirmed that his brother, Pope Benedict XVI. was very sympathetic to all the victims. He could now only appeal to those responsible for abuses and condemn the acts. "Moreover, he can ask consistently for the way of respect and reverence for human integrity."
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