An attorney has indicated the number of children physically or sexually abused by priests while serving in a choir run by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s brother at their Roman Catholic school in the German city of Regensburg totals 231. That’s more than three times as many cases as had been reported previously by the church.
Ulrich Weber, a lawyer hired by the church, announced the new cases Friday in conjunction with his investigation into the scandal centered on the Domspatzen (Cathedral Sparrows), which is the official choir at the Regensburg Cathedral dedicated to St. Peter in Bavaria state. The first allegations of sexual abuse there were made public in 2010 when a well-known composer named Franz Wittenbrink told the German magazine Der Spiegel he had been abused while enrolled at the boarding school.
Weber said the reported sexual abuse encompassed offenses such as fondling and rape, while the reported physical abuse included beatings and the withholding of food. He said victims named 10 perpetrators, according to Agence France-Presse.