Pope's Brother: I Overlooked Choir Abuse

Georg Ratzinger also admits to slapping students in the face
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2010 2:32 PM CST
Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI, gives interviews in Regensburg, southern Germany, in this April 20, 2005 file photo.   (AP Photo/Uwe Lein,File)

(Newser) – Pope Benedict’s brother today revealed that he used to slap pupils in the face at the Catholic school in Germany whose prestigious choir he led, and that he’d ignored allegations of more serious physical abuses. “Pupils told me about what went on,” Georg Ratzinger said in an interview today. “But it didn’t dawn on me from their stories that I should do something. I was not aware of the extent of these brutal methods.”

“At the start, I also slapped people in the face,” the 86-year-old priest added, “but I always had a bad conscience.” He says the school headmaster disciplined students that way as well. The choir Georg Ratzinger led from 1964 to 1994 is at the center of an exploding Catholic school abuse scandal in Germany. Sexual abuse has been alleged as well, but Ratzinger denied any knowledge of that.

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