Hundreds of children were abused in a German Catholic choir for 60 years

*** One of the defendants in the scandal – the brother of former Pope Benedict XVI

Berlin. July 19. INTERFAX – At least 547 members of the German Catholic boy choir “Regensburger Domspatzen” was subjected to physical and sexual violence since 1945 and over the next 60 years, according to “die Zeit”, citing the investigation.

According to the coroner Ulrich Weber, who is investigating the situation, victims of violence could become children of preschool and secondary school age. According to him, for 60 years, there have been about 500 incidents involving physical violence and 67 cases of sexual violence.

W. Weber reported that about 49 of Catholic Church officials are accused of committing crimes of a violent or sexual nature during the period from 1945 to the beginning of 1990-ies, but the greatest part of them will not be prosecuted because the Statute of limitations expired for the crime.

The investigator added that he has not yet managed to contact many former choristers, and therefore, the real number of victims could reach 700 people.

Allegations of “failure to intervene” may be presented including 93-year-old Georg Ratzinger, who led the choir from 1964 to 1994 and is the older brother of former Pope Benedict XVI.

W. Weber noted that the victims described the memories of the choir as “the worst time of their lives marked by fear, violence and hopelessness.”