New allegation in Pope's ex-diocese
Published 25/03/2010 | 05:00
New sex abuse claims surfaced yesterday against a priest in the Pope's former diocese in Germany.
The Munich archdiocese said the allegations dated back to 1998 against a priest who has a previous conviction and already has been suspended.
The case was passed on to prosecutors as the statute of limitations has not expired.
The priest, Peter Hullermann, was transferred from Essen to Munich in 1980 to undergo therapy.
The diocese has said Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (pictured right) was not involved in a decision to allow Hullermann return to pastoral work and did not know of his later work in congregations where he continued to deal with youngsters.
Hullermann was convicted of sexual abuse in 1986, well after the cardinal left for Rome. Hullermann continued to work in different congregations until he was suspended 10 days ago.
An alleged victim came forward with credible new claims yesterday, a diocese spokesman said.
The victim was a child at the time of the alleged abuse in 1998.
A former deputy to Cardinal Ratzinger, Reinhard Gruber, has taken responsibility for decisions that were made over Hullermann. The Pope was archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977-1982.
More than 250 sexual abuse allegations at church and non-church schools have rocked Germany since the beginning of the year.
The German government's new panel on sexual abuse put in place yesterday will examine past abuses and re-evaluate Germany's current statute of limitations on sex crimes.