- Title: Ex-Pope Benedict's brother knew of abuse at Regensburg cathedral choir - report
- Date: 18th July 2017
- Summary: REGENSBURG, GERMANY (FILE - FEBRUARY 28, 2013) (REUTERS) NIGHT EXTERIOR OF REGENSBURG CATHEDRAL VARIOUS OF CATHEDRAL SPARROWS PERFORMING REGENSBURG, GERMANY (FILE - OCTOBER 12, 2016) (REUTERS) BOYS ENTERING BUILDING OF REGENSBURGER DOMSPATZEN LOGO ON WINDOW PAN ACROSS BUILDING TO LOGO ON WALL
- Embargoed: 1st August 2017 11:37
- Keywords: catholic church abuse Regensburg Domspatzen violence
- Location: REGENSBURG, GERMANY
- City: REGENSBURG, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0026Q8SDON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Teachers at one of Germany's most famous Roman Catholic choir schools physically or sexually abused 547 pupils between 1945 and 2015, an independent report found on Tuesday (July 18), with some boys likening the institution to a concentration camp.
The 440-page report chronicles teachers doling out physical violence including slapping boys in the face so hard that the marks could be seen the next day, whipping them with wooden sticks and violin bows and subjecting them to severe beatings.
Boys who tried to escape the "Regensburger Domspatzen", or Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows, were hauled back into the school and beaten and humiliated in front of other boys, it said.
Allegations of abuse at the school, which dates back over a thousand years and now tours the world to perform choral music, surfaced in 2010.
After criticism of that investigation, the diocese, which acknowledged on Tuesday it had "made mistakes", commissioned lawyer Ulrich Weber in 2015 to put together the independent report.
Former Pope Benedict's brother, Georg Ratzinger, 93, led the choir from 1964 to 1994. He acknowledged in 2010 that he had slapped pupils in the face but said he had not realized how brutal the discipline was.
Weber said he was "to be blamed especially for turning a blind eye and not intervening despite having knowledge", adding the investigation did not show he was aware of sexual abuse.
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