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After abuse report: First Bavarian city wants to revoke Pope Benedict's honorary citizenship

2022-01-27T11:40:07.852Z

After abuse report: First Bavarian city wants to revoke Pope Benedict's honorary citizenship Created: 01/27/2022, 12:28 p.m By: Helmut Hobmaier Pope Benedict during his visit to Freising in 2006. Four years later he was made an honorary citizen of the cathedral city. © Lehmann Can Cardinal Wetter and Pope Emeritus Benedikt Freisinger stay as honorary citizens? Representatives of the parties re



After abuse report: First Bavarian city wants to revoke Pope Benedict's honorary citizenship

Created: 01/27/2022, 12:28 p.m

By: Helmut Hobmaier

Pope Benedict during his visit to Freising in 2006.

Four years later he was made an honorary citizen of the cathedral city.

© Lehmann

Can Cardinal Wetter and Pope Emeritus Benedikt Freisinger stay as honorary citizens?

Representatives of the parties represented in the Freising City Council tend to say no.

Freising

– There is a clear trend: If the allegations made in the abuse report are confirmed, one can hardly hold on to this highest honor of the cathedral city, according to the parliamentary groups.

You also have to consider what signal you are sending to the victims.

(By the way: everything from the region is now also available in our regular Freising newsletter.)

In 2010, the city of Freising decided to take an unusual step: after a 16-year break, two people were made honorary citizens of the city - both high ecclesiastical dignitaries: Cardinal Friedrich Wetter (Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1982 to 2008) and his Predecessor Joseph Ratzinger (1977 to 1982).

Both have now been attested to leadership failure in dealing with abusers and a lack of concern for the victims.

The report published last week has massively damaged the reputation of the two honorary citizens - which should have consequences for the city council factions.

Fiedler: Can hardly be honorary citizens

"I don't think that both can continue to remain honorary citizens," says FSM parliamentary group leader Reinhard Fiedler, reflecting his personal opinion.

However, this is such an important matter for the city council that a “broad and open debate” must first take place.

"If the honorary citizenship is to be revoked, then we have to do it very cleanly," emphasizes Fiedler.

"It would require a whopping majority" - preferably a unanimous vote, as in the case of the appointment of the two honorary citizens.

Mieskes: "Difficult decision"

As a Protestant Christian, Jürgen Mieskes (CSU) has so far “worn less” about the cases of abuse in the Catholic Church, but is now all the more shocked: “It is a huge mess that it has been kept under wraps for decades”. Now the Pope Emeritus must "finally get out of the cover and, above all, help to clarify the whole thing completely". The basis must now be laid so that something like this "simply can't happen anymore". If Joseph Ratzinger would help to implement this, he could possibly remain an honorary citizen. “He has also done a lot of good things. You shouldn't just delete everything now." Mieskes: "If I had to vote in the city council now, it would be a very difficult decision."

Cardinal Friedrich Wetter was Archbishop of Munich and Freising for three decades and has been an honorary citizen since 2010.

© Lehmann

Habermeyer: There is simply a lack of insight

For the Greens parliamentary group spokesman Werner Habermeyer, the matter is also clear: "It's not possible for us to keep it up in this form". The basic requirement for remaining as an honorary citizen would be a "fundamental insight into one's own misconduct", which is not recognizable at least in the case of the emeritus pope, which "particularly hurts" him, Habermeyer. Out of consideration for the victims, Joseph Ratzinger can no longer be an honorary citizen. The explosive topic will now be discussed in the Greens parliamentary group and in the local council, “in order to find a common line” and an official position will soon be taken. The Greens spokesman is in agreement with Fiedler: "There must be a common line in the city council, no quarreling". Habermeyer: “But that will probably not mean that the topic is off the table. There is also the questionwhether church abusers are still in office with us and possibly have contact with children and young people. Then there are other, possibly even more pressing questions.

Warlimont: First read the report

The SPD parliamentary group will soon deal with the hot potato. In view of the "enormous scope" of the forthcoming decision, Peter Warlimont demands that the report, which is almost 1,900 pages long, should be dealt with despite the necessary effort. "What is in the room is outrageous," the SPD spokesman states. But you still have to “take a very close look at it” yourself, although it is “hard to imagine” for him that something different would result than what the experts described in their summary. When making a decision in the Freising city council, you also have to "keep an eye on what message you are sending to the victims," ​​says Warlimont. "For me," adds the SPD city councilor, "there's no fear of big names." Warlimont: "If everything is confirmed, if those responsible had to knowwhat happened - then the question arises: How can one still be an honorary citizen?"

Friday: Withdrawal according to the current status

"According to the current state of affairs: disqualification" - that is the opinion of Karl-Heinz Freitag (Free Voters).

Of course, you have to read the report beforehand, so as not to judge anyone prematurely.

But Friday does not believe that the impression of serious misconduct will change afterwards.

And the Cardinal Döpfner House?

The educational institution of the archdiocese on the Freisinger Domberg, which is currently being extensively renovated and partly rebuilt, bears the name of Cardinal Julius Döpfner, who is also heavily incriminated.

Will the "KDH" be renamed?

According to professorship spokesman Christoph Kappes, it is still too early to say anything.

The report that has just been submitted must first be studied intensively.

But then “we will deal with this question”.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-01-27

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