Abuse Found in Popes Former Diocese

Pope Benedict XVI’s former diocese, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, has suspended a priest convicted of sexual abuse in 1986 and accepted the resignation of the Rev. Josef Obermaier, who assigned the priest to his most recent position. The priest, identified as Peter Hullermann, was found to have violated a condition of his reassignment by continuing to work with youth. The archdiocese said it had no complaints of more offenses by the priest.

The suspension came just three days after the church acknowledged that the pope, then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, had responded to accusations of molestation by allowing Hullermann to move to Munich for therapy in 1980. Pope Benedict served as the archbishop of the diocese where the priest later worked and subsequently in Rome as the cardinal in charge of reviewing sexual abuse cases for the Vatican. Yet until the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising announced that Father Hullermann had been suspended on March 15, he had continued to serve in a series of Bavarian parishes for years.

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